Okinawan leads Japan national team at 23rd World Children’s Baseball Fair

Okinawan leads Japan national team at 23rd World Children's Baseball Fair

In Uruma, Rin Ono, who was appointed manager of the Japanese national team, talked about the event.

June 27, 2013 Taichi Hirayasu of the Ryukyu Shimpo

The manager of the team, Rin Ono, said, “This will be a valuable experience for the children. I want them to grow through the event.”

Ono played baseball at Okinawa Fisheries High School. His team came second in the National High School Baseball Championship for consecutive years in 1990 and 1991. Ono went on to play in professional baseball teams such as the Yomiuri Giants. He will be the manager of the Japanese national team at the 23rd World Children’s Baseball Fair to be held in the United States this August. Ono said, “Watching games played by teams from all over the world will be a valuable experience for the Japanese children.”

Ono currently coaches children of the junior high school hardball baseball team Uruma Higashi Boys. When he took part in international competitions during his high school and college years, the speed and power at the higher level surprised Ono. He said, “After experiencing world-class baseball, I worked hard to improve and eventually I became a professional.” He went on to say, “I want the children in the national team to watch teams from other countries and to boost their awareness of baseball and aspects of everyday life.”

Ono said, “I feel the weight of responsibility of being the manager of the national team and aim to win our games.” He went on to say, “The children in the team have real ability and winning will give them confidence.”

Sixteen children who play in boys’ leagues in various areas in Japan were selected for the team. To prepare for the event, they will hold a training camp in Fukuoka Prefecture from July 13 to 15.

The captain of the team, Taiki Nagahama, said, “My heart is racing. I will do my very best to lead the team.”

In Uruma, Uruma Higashi Boys pitcher Taiki Nagahama became captain of the team.

Nagahama, who is a pitcher from Uruma Higashi Boys, became the captain of the Japanese national team. He said, “I want to see how players from all over the world perform.”

Nagahama has been a pitcher since elementary school. He can adjust his style to pitch with breaking balls such as sliders and curveballs. Nagahama said, “I want to pitch on the international stage.” Nagahama said that he wanted to become the best pitcher of the world. He said, “I really want to grow through this competition.”

Ono has been coaching Nagahama in the Uruma Higashi Boys. Nagahama said, “I was able to get in the national team thanks to Mr. Ono’s training. I will do my best out of gratitude for Mr. Ono and want to win the gold medal for him.”

Nagahama leads the national team as captain. He said, “I will lead the other players with all my heart. I will tell them not to give up even if we are losing.” He went on to say, “First of all, I want to enjoy the event. I want to enjoy playing out of gratitude to our parents and those who have supported us.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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