Ham fighters

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nippon-us.jpgThe Nippon Ham Fighters lost tonight. But it wasn't due to a lack of cheering by us.

Baseball teams in Japan are not known by their hometown, as in the US, but by their sponsor. Nippon Ham owns the Fighters. But Nippon Ham Fighters? It's so tempting to call them the "Ham Fighters."

Tonight, maybe 'ham fisted' would have been a better moniker. They dropped the game 5-1 to the Daiei Hawks.

nippon-ebisu.jpgBut let's be totally honest. Baseball in Japan is not about the game. It's about the Beer Girls. These hard-working hotties run up and down the aisles in satin shorts selling beer, whiskey and confections.

Here, Tod's happily paying 800 yen for another cup of Ebisu draft beer. The beer girls are cute.

I enjoy drinking too much beer and shouting at the players. It's a lot of fun. I'm sure the people around me, all the salarymen in their suits and ties (direct from the office), are disturbed by my loud gaijin catcalls. But I'm having fun.

They're having fun, too. They make notes in little notebooks, go off to the smoking area frequently, and order lots of beer from the beer girls. The beer girls smile no matter what. It's amazing.

nipponham.jpgAfter the Ham Fighters' pathetic showing, we decided they must be the Chicago Cubs of the Japan league (or whatever the Japanese baseball consortium calls itself) and we had to have shirts. Here, John and I are modelling our new baseball jerseys. We've almost managed to get close enough for the shirts to spell out "Nippon Ham" across us.

I've never owned a sports jersey before, though I wore my friend Mike's hockey jerseys from time to time "back in the day." I'm not sure how to accessorise a baseball jersey...

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I am an american baseball fan (go Dodgers) and I am learning about japan's baseball teams. I have picked the Nippon Ham Fighters as my favorite (its the name). Your article was fun... thanks

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