March 27: Visit to Ishinomaki
The A’s and Mariners teamed up with Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association to visit Ishinomaki, a city about two hours north of Tokyo by bus and train. Ishinomaki was heavily damaged during the 2011 tsunami. Nearly 5,000 residents lost their lives and more than 50,000 were left homeless. Damaged areas are still being cleared and reminders of the damage are plentiful, from rows upon rows of stacked vehicles to a meat company canister that lays between two streets. View photos of the devastation below, then see the players’ visit to the Ishinomaki stadium, which received a $500,000 check for renovations to the damaged field, which was used as a staging area for local relief efforts. These Little Leaguers, who attended a clinic by players, will again have a place to play baseball. Read more about the visit to Ishinomaki from Doug Miller.
Travel to Ishinomaki is by bus and train.
The damaged area of Ishinomaki was moving to witness.
Upon reaching the ballpark, the excited children were a wonderful sight to see. Players Tommy Milone, Tyson Ross, and Evan Scribner, along with special assistant Phil Garner, held clinics with local Little Leaguers, Stomper entertained the kids, and the players helped serve soup to kids and their families.
Back in Tokyo later in the day, both the A’s and Mariners were invited to an Opening Series event, held by Yomiuri. Billy Beane and Kurt Suzuki were among A’s officials to help break saki barrels in a ceremony to bring good luck to the season.
Just after midnight in Tokyo, it’s officially Opening Day! First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. in Japan, 3:10 a.m. Pacific Time. The game vs. the Seattle Mariners can be heard live on 95.7 FM The Game and MLB.com Gameday Audio. The game can be seen on tape delay on MLB Network at 6:00 a.m. PT and again at 7:00 p.m. PT. Let’s Go A’s!