Well we landed in Tokyo several hours ago, headed to the hotel and then a reception at the U.S. Embassy. Thoughts and emotions are swirling for all of us as the excitement builds for our trip but right now I am exhausted.
The event tonight was fun and very well attended. Several old friends like Hideo Nomo and Sachio Kinugasa were on hand as well. Ambassador Roos made a few remarks and spoke of Tomodachi, the initiative between the U.S. and Japan to help those impacted by the tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in March. We are exploring ways to get involved not just while we are here but after we are back home. It is a very cool program that only strengthens the bond between the United States and Japan…by the way, Tomodachi means “friend” in Japanese.
Tomorrow, after a press conference, the fun begins. We have two clinics scheduled for Tokyo, one with the boys in the morning and one for the girls in the afternoon. Like dad was, I am very comfortable being around the kids and communicating with them through the game of baseball.
The trip will take us to several parts of this beautiful country and I am happy to have my former teammate, Brady Anderson, and my team from Ripken Baseball with me.
Thanks for reading and for following our journey. I will keep everyone updated over the next week and we will do our best to bring a smile to a few faces and some joy to the lives of these kids.