This afternoon was the start of the Japan-USA International Junior High School Baseball Federation exhibition series at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, and a couple of former Major Leaguers were on-hand to open it up.
Former Dodger Hideo Nomo (who manages the All-Japan 15-U team) and ex-Angel Shigetoshi Hasegawa (who manages the MLB Urban Youth Academy USA team) threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
The series continues tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 PM. The second game is slated to start at 3:00 PM. Tickets are priced at $10 per game and children under 12 get in free. Tickets available by calling 310-373-4888 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not know if tickets are available at the gate, but I'd be surprised if they weren't.
Major League Baseball Urban Youth AcademyUPDATE: Ben Platt at MLB.com wrote a great story about the event here.
El Camino College, Compton Center
901 East Artesia Blvd.
Compton, Calif. 90221
The Japan-USA International Junior High School Baseball Federation Series has been a showcase event at which young players jointly learn about the culture of both countries since it began six years ago. The series, which takes place at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton and which welcomes ballplayers age 15 and under, is hosted by two trailblazing players who made a name for themselves on both continents.
Photo at the very top and below via Ben Platt/MLB.com.
"In Japan, Major League Baseball is such a big presence in the world of baseball," said Hideo Nomo, who broke the glass ceiling for Japanese League players in 1995 when he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Having our kids come over here and play with local kids their same age has been a great opportunity and experience for them."
|Hideo Nomo and Shigetoshi Hasegawa throw a ceremonial first pitch Saturday before the opener of the Japan-USA International Junior High School Baseball Federation Series at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, CA - Photo credit: Ben Platt/MLB.com|
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