Three years ago, the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated the Tohoku region. Millions were impacted, thousands perished, and hundreds of thousands remain displaced by the quake and tsunami. Baseball marked the tragic anniversary.
Before practice began at Muscat Stadium in Kurashiki, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles stood on the field and remembered the victims with a moment of silence. The club released a video with messages of hope from the entire roster.
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and Chiba Lotte Marines also had moments of silent tribute at their home ballparks. Players, coaches and staff gathered on the fields at 2:46 in the afternoon.
A quartet of Tigers players collected donations at Koshien Stadium before Hanshin faced the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows will be auctioning game worn uniforms to raise funds for the victims.
While baseball is powerless to change history or erase the unspeakable horror of earthquakes and tsunamis, the game can do relatively small things in the wake of total catastrophe that provide a bit of comfort.
It is a good time to remember the first home opener for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles at Miyagi Stadium with Japan Baseball Weekly and Jim Allen, and reflect on more recent days in Tohoku with Kaz Nagatsuka and JBW.
Exhibition March 10, 2014
Giants 7 Tigers 6
Exhibition March 11, 2014
Tigers 3 BayStars 2
Carp 7 Buffaloes 3
Fighters 1 Lions 1
Hawks 6 Swallows 1