Saturday, July 16, 2011

Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame

While at the Tokyo Dome last week to write a review for Stadium Journey, I made a quick stop at the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, which is located next to gate 21. It is only 500 yen to enter, with a 100 yen discount if you show a ticket to that day's game.

Inside you get a great collection of memorabilia, and not just for the Japanese pro game. There are plenty of interesting tidbits from MLB, college, and high school ball. There's even a section on women's baseball.

The museum is not large and can be seen inside an hour, although if you read Japanese, you might spend a bit longer taking in the explanations at each display. There are English translations beneath the plaque of each enshrined player, but the other displays come with only Japanese descriptions.

The HOF is really well maintained and although not as complete as Cooperstown, it doesn't treat baseball with the tiresome reverence that you see in America. If you are a baseball fan and in Tokyo, make sure to check this place out.

Below are a few pictures:

The two WBC championship trophies - if America ever won, would the trophy be in Cooperstown?

The Japan Series trophy

Some Central League teams

Rickey Henderson signed base to Japanese base-stealing king Yutaka Fukumoto. Henderson broke Fukumoto's record in 1993 just before being traded to Toronto, where he scored on Joe Carter's World Series home run, the last truly happy moment for Toronto sports fans.

A bat used by Jackie Robinson

Poster from a barnstorming tour. The Japanese is read right to left, that is Babe Ruth and not Suulu Buube.

Medals from the 2010 World University Baseball Championship, won by Cuba

National team uniforms

Plaque for Victor Starffin, the first foreigner inducted

College ball magazine with Tadahito Iguchi, who would win the World Series with the White Sox a mere 9 years later.

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