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The NPB after the big quake, Day 49 [April 29, 2011]

by on Apr.29, 2011 @ 6:45 pm, under NPB

I'll keep this updated throughout the day.

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Yakult Swallows

Yoshinori Sato promised to give the game ball from his victory against the Yomiuri Giants on the 27th to a former Sendai Ikuei classmate / teammate whose body was recently found in Ishinomaki.

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars collected signatures and messages (on a big flag) from fans and players and put the flag on display in the right field stands during pre-game ceremonies today.

Chiba Lotte Marines

35 elementary school kids from Asahi, Chiba (an area hit fairly hard by the earthquake) were invited to today's game against the Softbank Hawks at QVC Marine Field by Saburo.  A total 100 kids will be invited to games at QVC Marine Field during Lotte current 3-game series against the Hawks (4/29 - 5/1).

Rakuten Eagles

Nikkan Sports handed out special editions of their paper at Kleenex Stadium and Yurtec Stadium (10,000 copies at each location).

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The Eagles held their home opener at Kleenex Stadium today and a total 20,613 fans showed up for the game.  Soccer and J1 Vegalta Sendai also returned to Sendai Yurtec Stadium today as well (18,456 in attendance).

Tickets were sold out to both games.  Rakuten Eagles' owner Toru Shimada told reporters that despite all that has happened, he was still happy to see the large turnout.

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Yoshihiro Murai (Miyagi prefectural governor), John Roos (US Ambassador in Japan), and Hiroshi Mikitani (team president) took part in opening ceremonies at Kleenex Stadium todayHideki Matsuyama (golfer) threw out the ceremonial first pitchMuneyuki Sato and two school girls from Minamisanriku sang the national anthem.

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There are 70 fewer infield seats this season and construction work on elevators and seating areas will continue throughout the year at Kleenex Stadium.