One of our goals this season was to get at least one other international lineup card. Last season, we got a neat lineup card from the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League.
A Japanese All Star Team from the Shikoku Island League Plus All Star Team and the Cuban National team are both playing series against each of the Can-Am League teams. It seemed like a great opportunity to get an international lineup card!
I did some research on the Sikoku Island team, and it unfortunately appeared that they used a white board for their lineup card. Therefore, I wouldn’t have made the 4-hour round trip to see them play other than that it worked out for me to be in the area otherwise to see them play the New Jersey Jackals.
The good news was that Shikoku Island did not appear to be using a white board for its lineup card. The bad news is that I couldn’t see ANY lineup card in the Shikoku Island dugout.
The Jackals did have a lineup card in their dugout. I was able to get that after the game.
We got another Jackals lineup card last season, and this was the same as that: very plain looking.
I then headed over to the Shikoku Island dugout with nothing to lose. After the manager, Terushi Nakajima, was interviewed by a Japanese journalist, I showed him the Jackals lineup card and asked if he had one. He nodded as though to say yes, which at least momentarily made me think I had struck gold. But when he kept walking past me, I realized something had been lost in translation.
Nakajima and all of the Shikoku Island players lined up along the concourse to sign autographs. It was pretty neat to see. I had Nakajima sign the lineup card (in the “Pitchers” section in the pic above.
I had no idea who Nakajima was. It turns out, he played on Japan’s 1988 Olympic baseball team and then played eight seasons in the Nippon Pro Baseball League.
One other highlight was that the teams got together for a group picture after the game.
For what it’s worth, even though I would have preferred to get a lineup card from the Shikoku Island team, I do count Shikoku Island as one of the leagues we have a lineup card from as we have them on the Jackals card. The same situation happened last season when we were not able to get the Fargo-Morehead RedHawks (American Association) lineup card when they played the Sussex Miners, but did get the Miners lineup card for that game.
There will still be opportunities to try and get another international lineup card before the end of the season, including the Cuban national Team’s games against local Can-Am League teams later this month.
2016: 25 lineup cards (20 dugout/bullpen; 5 “official batting order”)