High school baseball players get memento filled with Koshien Stadium dirt
Japan Today -- Jun 23
Japanese high school baseball players, heartbroken because their annual tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, are getting a consolation prize: a spoonful of dirt.

It’s not just any soil -- it’s from Koshien Stadium. Which means it holds special meaning to all who love the game in this baseball-mad country.

Every year, more than 3,000 teams go through competitive regional playoffs to advance to the finals at Koshien in Nishinomiya city, central Japan -- the prized stage that’s seen the likes of major leaguers Ichiro, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui.

And every year, after a team loses, the players, many weeping uncontrollably, scrape the dirt near the dugout to take home as a memento.

On a recent afternoon, it was the members of the professional club, the Hanshin Tigers, who were digging with their hands to collect dirt from Koshien, their home stadium.

The dirt will be put in transparent balls hanging from key chains and sent to some 50,000 high school baseball players. Each ball has the words: “2020 102nd Koshien,” for the 102nd tournament, and pictures of a ball, bats and the stadium. They are to be delivered in August, when the tournament had been scheduled to start.

News source: Japan Today
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Japanese high school baseball players, heartbroken because their annual tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, are getting a consolation prize: a spoonful of dirt. (Japan Today)