After passing through the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan we didn't know what to expect when we reached the local school and the young kids who lost so much.
What we found was an amazing spirit that seems to be in so many of the Japanese people. Despite the hardships they have endured, these kids wanted to play a little baseball and have some fun... and we gave it to them. Our team of Brady Anderson, Japanese Iron Man Sachio Kinugasa and Ripken Baseball's Tim Gebhart found ourselves lifted by the kids and having a terrific time despite temperatures that dropped into the low 40s.
We put on a clinic for about two hours and had a blast. In addition, thanks to our friends at Under Armour, Rawlings and MLB we left the school and teams with plenty of new baseball equipment and each kid received a bag of Under Armour and Rawlings goodies.
Our time in Japan is starting to wind down. We have a clinic for boys and girls on Saturday in Takarazuka City before departing for the beautiful city of Kyoto. On Sunday we have a morning clinic for kids in Kyoto and then I get to toss the ceremonial first pitch at a game for the All Japan Girls Baseball Tournament. Before returning to Tokyo, we visit the Kyoto Baseball Hall of Fame with Mr. Kinugasa. This is his hometown and I am excited to be at his home with him.
Monday we have a day off in Tokyo that we are all looking forward to. On Tuesday we have a few things to wrap up with the Embassy and some interview before heading home.