Ja­panese base­ball team ready for trip to Cedar­town

The Standard Journal - - Sports - From Staff Re­ports

On Satur­day, Au­gust 2, the phrase, “Play Ball!,” will bring to­gether two cul­tures from op­po­site sides of the globe for a friendly game of base­ball.

Twenty chil­dren from Ja­pan will make the 15-hour jour­ney from their home­town of In­abe City, Mie, to Ge­or­gia to run bases and catch pop-flys with the Cedar­town Bull­dogs on the base­ball di­a­mond at Bert Wood Youth and Ath­letic Com­plex.

The 10th An­nual Ki­moto Cup is be­ing billed this year as the Ja­pan-U.S. Friend­ship Base­ball Game and will be the first time that the game has ever been played on Amer­i­can soil. The game is open to the pub­lic and city officials are en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to at­tend. “We would love to see the stands full of Cedar­town res­i­dents show­ing sup­port and cheer­ing on both teams,” said Cedar­town City Man­ager Bill Fann. “This event has been a full year in the mak­ing. Both the Cedar­town team and the Ja­panese team are very ex­cited to share a fun game of base­ball to­gether and learn more about each other’s cul­ture. The City of Cedar­town is proud to help host this event and thank­ful to play a part in it.”

Ja­pan-based KI­MOTO Co., LTD and Cedar­town’s Ki­moto Tech have been the driv­ing force in bring­ing the game to Cedar­town, pay­ing for travel and ex­penses for mem­bers of the Ja­panese team, along with their chap­er­ones. City of Cedar­town officials and Cedar­town Youth Base­ball rep­re­sen­ta­tives have worked with Ki­moto Tech over the past year to en­sure that prepa­ra­tions have been made to wel­come the 11 and 12-year-old guests to North­west Ge­or­gia.

Miguel Leal, pres­i­dent of Cedar­town Ki­moto Tech, ex­plained that KI­MOTO Co., LTD pres­i­dent, Mr. Kazunobu Ki­moto, de­sires to main­tain a close re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­ni­ties in which the com­pany works and serves. “KI­MOTO Co. has a long his­tory of ini­ti­at­ing events like this in Ja­pan and other parts of the world. It is Mr. Ki­moto’s be­lief that we share mul­ti­ple com­mon bonds as cit­i­zens in our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. There is no bet­ter way to

ex­press these com­mon bonds than through a friendly se­ries of base­ball games and spend­ing time to­gether to share ex­pe­ri­ences.”

As part of the week­end’s events, Cedar­town’s West­side Ele­men­tary School will host the Ja­panese team for a cul­tural ex­change event with lo­cal stu­dents.

Open­ing cer­e­monies for the Ki­moto Friend­ship game will take place at 8 a.m. at the Bert Wood Youth and Ath­letic Com­plex, 605 Lyn­ton Drive in Cedar­town. The Star Span­gled Ban­ner will be per­formed by Cedar­town res­i­dent Eli Shaw and Ja­pan’s an­them, Kimi­gayo, will be per­formed by the en­tire All In­abe base­ball team.

Distin­guished guests speak­ing dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony in­clude Cedar­town Ki­moto Tech Pres­i­dent Miguel Leal; KI­MOTO Co., LTD pres­i­dent, Mr. Kazunobu Ki­moto; Ja­pan Con­sulate Gen­eral Su­naga and State House Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Trey Kelley.

The first pitch for game one will be thrown at 9 a.m. The first pitch for game two will take place at 1:30 p.m.

Clos­ing cer­e­monies will in­clude a speech and the pre­sen­ta­tion of tro­phies to both teams by Mr. Ki­moto, as well as re­marks by distin­guished guests Dale Tuck, Cedar­town City Com­mis­sion Chair, and Scott McMur­ray, Direc­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Divi­sion at the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment.

Rep­re­sent­ing the All In­abe team are play­ers Taichi Ando (No. 3), Yo­suke Kad­owaki (No. 8), Sho­taro Ariyoshi (No. 15), Kenta Hashimoto (No.6), Rui In­den (No. 9), Rinta Naka­mura (No. 13), Tai­sei Sakaeda (No. 5), Takumi Saito (No. 17), Kakeru Mori (No. 16), Masaki Shi­rat­suchi (No. 4), To­mo­hisa Tanaka (No. 2), Kota Ya­mada (No. 12), Ryoga Hi­rai (No. 14), Yuto Mori­hashi (No. 11), Taiyo Naka­mura (No. 7), So­dai Tadokoro (No. 10) and Yu­sei Ito (No. 1).

Rep­re­sent­ing the Cedar­town Bull­dogs are play­ers Eas­ton Ox­en­rei­der (No. 4), Seth Davis (No. 1), Eli Eli Wigley (No. 11), Tyler Gos­din (No. 9), Davis Wagoner (No. 99), Chadriq Neal (No. 21), Caleb Arnold (No. 10), Grif­fin El­der (No.8), Cleve Jor­dan (No. 13), Ty Wil­cox (No. 1), Will Pil­grim ( No. 14), Ma­son Ben­nett (No. 22) and Taji Hud­son (No. 5).

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