Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daisuke Yamai and Hidenori Kuramoto at the Toyohashi Zoo

Yamai and Hidenori were at the zoo last Wednesday for a "talk show."  We took our daughter and nieces and got there early to get raffle tickets for a chance to win photos with the players or autographs.  They also said that there would be training sessions for three lucky people.  Before the show we checked out the animals, the current headliner is a baby Asian elephant that is less than a month old. 
There were a couple hundred people at the show, many in Dragons gear or Little League uniforms.  They did the raffle first and we didn't win any of the memorabilia.  Then the show began; the guys came out and introduced themselves and Hidenori presented the zoo with a painting he had done of a rhino (he may be a better artist than a baseball player).  My speaking and comprehension of Japanese is at about a two-year old's level so I didn't understand much of what they were saying.  From what my wife translated to me they talked about the power of Yamai's glasses and how it transforms him, kind of like the opposite of Superman.  When asked what pitcher Yamai admired, he answered with Kazuki Yoshimi because of his control.  He also said that his goal for the season was to stay at ichi-gun all year because he has never been able to do that before. 
Near the end of the show they gave three little leaguers some tips, Yamai gave a boy some advice on throwing and Hidenori demonstrated how to play a groundball and how to swing the bat.  He included a funny imitation of Kazuyoshi Tatsunami in his batting lesson.  I may add some links to video we have of their demonstrations later on.

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