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BASEBALL/ Spring high school baseball tourney turns 100 years old

时间:2024-07-26 00:51:10 出处:阅读(143)

BASEBALL/ Spring high school baseball tourney turns 100 years old

By SACHI OTSUTA/ Staff Writer

March 18, 2024 at 18:35 JST

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Photo/IllutrationKosuke Hashiba, captain of Aomori Yamada High School, delivers the athlete's oath at the opening ceremony of the High School Baseball Invitational Tournament on March 18 at Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)

  • Photo/Illutration
  • Photo/Illutration

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Prefecture--The annual spring national high school baseball tournament started on March 18 at Hanshin Koshien Stadium here, 100 years after the first tourney, drawing attention from pro scouts and millions of fans around the nation.

The first tournament was held a century ago in 1924, but this year’s was the 96th due to some interruptions.

Players from 32 teams marched in the opening ceremony of the High School Baseball Invitational Tournament before Kosuke Hashiba, captain of Aomori Yamada High School in Aomori Prefecture, delivered the athlete’s oath of fair play.

“We are deeply aware of the weight of history and tradition that our predecessors have built up,” Hashiba said. “We are filled with the joy of being able to devote ourselves to our beloved baseball with our best friends.”

Hashiba also touched on his thoughts for victims of the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake, saying “What we can do now is to enjoy baseball to the fullest.”

He concluded by saying, “We vow to fight with all our heart and soul to make this a new step toward the next 100 years.”

Along with the other national high school championship held at the same iconic stadium in summer, the spring tournament holds a special place on the Japanese sports calendar.

Every game is broadcast nationwide, and scouts from Japan and overseas scour the play for potential stars in the university and pro leagues.

“I was really nervous, but now I’m relieved,” Hashiba said later. “I was able to say it in my own words, and I have a sense of accomplishment. It was perfect.”

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