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Nippon Ham Fighters: April 2, 2010

by on Apr.02, 2010 @ 5:20 pm, under NPB

...The Fighters are hoping Bobby Keppel will be able to make a return to Ichi-gun during a three game series against the Rakuten Eagles that begins on the 6th.  But before that can happen, he needs to show he's ready during a scheduled Ni-gun start against Yakult on Saturday.

...Masataka Nashida will no longer be limiting Sho Nakata's at bats to left-handed pitchers.  Seems Nakata is able to hit righty pitchers with more authority.

...Hichori Morimoto could return to the Ichi-gun roster sometime this month.  Morimoto has been working on a separate training menu from the rest of the Ni-gun team and recently started taking BP on 3/30.  His current schedule has him returning to regular Ni-gun practice on the 6th and playing in a Ni-gun game against Lotte on the 10th.  Assuming everything is alright, he could be back shortly thereafter.

...Hokkaido Shimbun conducted a poll on pro sports teams and found out that about 70 percent of people living in Hokkaido loved the Nippon Ham Fighters (many of them were also middle to older aged women.

The last time the poll was conducted (3/2004), only 17% of people living in Hokkaido selected the Nippon Ham Fighters (42% selected the Yomiuri Giants).  This year, the Giants dropped to 14% and the Fighters shot up to 70% (rabid fans were at 25% and casual fans at 63%).  The number shot up to close to 90% when including fans that considered the Giants number 1, but also followed the Fighters.

It seems women in their 60s and 70s had the highest percentage of Fighters' fans.

...Fan club members can win a chance to take part in an autograph session with players on 4/3 and 4/4.

...The couple from last year's Konkatsu Seat event will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on 4/4 (vs Seibu Lions) -- the man will be the catcher will the woman throws out the first pitch.

The Fighters also announced that they will be selling Konkatsu Seats on 6/25, 26, and 27 this year (vs Chiba Lotte Marines).  There will be a total 120 seats (60 women / 60 men) available per game.

...Tickets to games in June will go on sale beginning on April 4th (April 3rd for club members).  The 2010 Oyaji Series will also take place in June.

...Thanks Mothers! Kensuke Day will take place on 5/2.  Fifty female fans will also be eligible to win a free breast exam.  Crystal Japan (aka, Team Aomori - the curling team) will be also be taking part in the opening ceremonies with Mari Motohashi throwing out the first pitch.