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Japanese baseball player sends message to boy who ruined his home run

By RocketNews24

On March 7, Japan faced Cuba in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. During the bottom of the fourth inning, Yakult Swallows second-baseman and noted slugger Tetsuto Yamada hit it deep to left-field heading straight for the stands. However, just before the ball crossed the fence a young fan reached out with his glove and caught it.

Surely it was a magical once-in-a-lifetime moment for the lad, but if the ball doesn’t cross the fence, it isn’t a home run. So, Yamada’s sure home run was instead ruled a double due to spectator interference – or as the Japanese slickly name it "Maboroshi No Home Run" (Phantom Home Run).

It ended up being a moot point anyway since Japan went on to soundly win the game 11-6. Nevertheless, online hatred towards the young man who caught the ball was visceral. Remarks such as, “stupid brat, you don’t deserve to live,” and “war criminal” were bandied about and things escalated further when a close-up photo of the boy smiling and holding the caught ball began to also circulate online.

Word of the outrage reached Yamada himself who, on March 9, released a statement directed at the unidentified boy. It goes as follows:

“I don’t mind at all. I hope that you don’t turn you back on baseball and come back with your glove to cheer us on. I think you were on the edge of something else that day; the edge of becoming a professional baseball player in the future. I hope you continue to work hard at that so one day we can meet and look back at this moment we shared together fondly. I will work hard too so I can hit home runs perfectly.”

How’s that for a class act? Not only does Yamada completely forgive and encourage the boy who erased his home run, he even takes partial blame that he didn’t hit it far enough to avoid this problem in the first place.

Readers on the internet agreed saying:

“Yamada, you’re too kind!” “Does that boy see this?” “Yamada is a saint for his message to the boy who stole his home run.” “I like Yamada even more now. I hope he knocks one out of the park next time too!” “Stand-up guy. Show us your perfect home run. That is the path to victory.” “Yamada is cool. I hope that kid does go on to become a professional player.”

Granted, most of the feedback was simply saying how awesome Yamada is rather than agreeing with him and wishing the boy nothing but the best… but it seems to have taken the heat off the kid at least.

It seems ridiculous to make a pariah out of the kid anyway. Who wouldn’t make the catch if they were in his position?

Source: Nikkan Sports

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Two Japanese baseball mascots meet in the outfield for a kick to the face and shot to the head -- Wakayama City official arrested for taking fruit knife home from work -- Butt Bat Girl: Japan’s latest trick photography craze that combines sports anime with slapstick

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Remarks such as, “stupid brat, you don’t deserve to live,” and “war criminal” Make me regret they do not keep security logs of IPs of citizens that regurgitate such despicable immoral... over the international net. Scare them once, for life, those scums. Do them an eternal favour.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

That's a true professional athlete.....????????

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good on Yamada! Nice to see an athlete with perspective. To those who attack the boy online; get a fricken life.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I have a new favorite Japanese professional baseball player. Class act all the way!!!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Forgiveness involves changing a response to a wrongdoer or anything that happens as a result of the wrong from a negative or positive response. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to feel positive towards that person. It's just that the negative feelings are now gone. So not all forgiveness are equal and while your character may be forgiving in one aspect, they aren't necessarily in another.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Novenachama and wise man say forgiveness is divine but never pay full price for late pizza.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I understand being angry if it was a Climax Series or Japan Series game and the one point determined the outcome of the game. If the news though posts slander from a bunch of trolls, the trolls have officially won by getting the attention they were hoping for.

Yamada is a beast though and I would love to see him or Tsutsugoh succeed in the MLB in the future. I am tired of the many great batters in the NPB going on to the MLB to become average, bad or injury prone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I understand being angry if it was a Climax Series

That makes me incredibly happy. A series? Even better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems to me like it wouldn't have crossed the fence anyways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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