Let’s start off with a pop quiz!!!
Can you guess where I’m headed in this photo?
(Hint: I’m extremely nervous right now!)
Answer: I’m off to take part in the first-pitch ceremony at the Yomiuri Giants’ season
opener against the Hanshin Tigers! And guess who’s about to throw the first pitch?
Ambassador Kennedy!!! This is also going to be my debut event as the U.S. Embassy social
media friendship ambassador. I’m so excited!!!
Everything went fine at the rehearsal this morning. But it felt weird inside Tokyo Dome
because there were no spectators and it was so quiet. There are just a few hours left until
the big event! I can’t wait!
In the waiting area
After the rehearsal, I had a chance to talk to the Yomiuri Giants official mascot “Giabbit” and his family in the waiting area. They were so nice and friendly. The family includes Mr. Giabbit, Sister Giabbit, and the Giabbit kids. And did you know there’s even a Grandpa Giabbit? When I saw them all together I started to miss my own family back home. But this is just the beginning of my new life! It’s too soon to start feeling homesick. I hope my friends in Alaska get to hear about all the cool stuff I’ve been doing here. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m made of!
In the hallway before the event
Here we go! My heart is pounding. I’m supposed to be an orange-flavored jelly bean but
when I get nervous I sometimes turn lemon-flavored…
In front of the stairs
Wow! The crowd’s going wild! They’re so excited for the game to start. I can’t believe I’m watching SMAP perform the national anthem live. Now I’m getting even more nervous because it’s almost time for me to go out there. But Team Venus, the beautiful Yomiuri Giants’ cheerleaders, are standing right beside me and cheering me on, so I’m feeling fine. I can’t stop smiling!
On the field
Finally it’s time for me and Ambassador Kennedy to go onto the field. The stands are
completely packed! I felt really nervous but Giabbit was nice enough to walk out to the
mound with me. I’m so impressed with how cool and composed Giabbit is.
Beside the mound
It’s time! Ambassador Kennedy raises up her arm and throws the ball with her left hand.Wait! She’s a southpaw? Even I didn’t know that! Her pitch makes a wide arc and sails across the field. The crowd goes wild!!! The ball veers a little to the right, but the catcher, Shinnosuke Abe, manages to catch it beautifully. Strike! Ambassador Kennedy gives me a high five! Giabbit and the Yomiuri Giants Manager Tatsunori Hara show their enthusiasm by doing their special “goo-touch” (like a high five, but touching fists instead of palms). Awesome! Ambassador Kennedy was a little disappointed because she was hoping to throw a faster pitch right into the strike zone, but I think she did an incredible job! I hope a lot of people saw me cheering her on!
With the Giabbit after the ceremony
Here’s a photo of me and Giabbit after the first pitch ceremony. Don’t we look great together
because we’re both orange-ish?
With the Giabbit family after the ceremony
Giabbit and his family have been so nice to me! They make me feel right at home in Japan. We’re even sort of the same color! I hope we can get together again soon.
Participating in the first-pitch ceremony has made me want to take part in more events like this and make lots of new friends! Don’t forget – my name is Tom (written with the characters for “bean” and “dream”) and I’m the U.S. Embassy’s social media friendship ambassador. See you around!