The Tour Rolls On
Hello from Tokyo. I am in Japan, surrounded by many of the most passionate baseball fans in the world. The only thing on their minds is how their team will fare in the World Baseball Classic. I have been to Japan to spread the word baseball many, many times, and I am always so pleased with the warm reception the people give me. They are very respectful, generous and warm, and I will always appreciate their kindness.
So far, the tour has been a tremendous success. I began this adventure in San Diego on the first day of ticket sales. I appeared on every local TV station, and on local radio stations to promote awareness of the Classic. At the end of the day, 20,000 fans bought tickets to the finals and semi-finals.
San Diego is a great place. It has a beautiful new ball park, lots of enthusiastic baseball fans and one of the best Italian restaurants in the country, Busalacchi’s, which, of course, I visited for lunch.
Our second stop on the tour was Seattle, which was another success. Included in my duties as ambassador of the Classic, I have to continue to reinforce the point that this tournament is international, and it will feature the best players in the world playing for their home countries. The Classic is a reminder of how large baseball has become around the world, as well as serving as another vehicle to bring people from different backgrounds together through a common love, baseball. In Seattle, there are many Japanese baseball fans that love the Mariners, and love Ichiro. Another reason this tournament is so great is when Mariner fans go to Phoenix to follow their team during Spring Training, they can also see part of the first round of the Classic, which is also being played in Phoenix. I?m really excited about this.
But don?t think it was all work and no fun in Seattle. I too time to visit the Pike Place Market. While I was there, I sampled some smoked salmon, which was delicious, but I also had the opportunity to catch a fish, literally.
For more information about the World Baseball Classic, make sure to visit www.worldbaseballclassic.com.