March 25, 2016
Opening Day is still ten days away in the U.S. of A., but in the Land of the Rising Sun the 2016 season for professional baseball has officially begun. The Nipponese version of the Yankees, the Yomiuri Giants, won their opener (at home in the Tokyo Dome) by a score of 3-1, over the Yakult Swallows. See Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (NPB).
On the subject of Japanese baseball, this is expected to be Ichiro Suzuki's final year in the majors. With 2,935 career hits in the majors (not counting about 1,300 hits during his nine years with the Orix in Japan), the Miami Marlins outfielder is well within reach of crossing the landmark 3,000 threshold this year. It should happen some time in midsummer.
To mark the occasion of Japan's Opening Day, I updated the Tokyo Dome page with a dynamic diagram for the first time. Much like the Rogers Centre diagrams, which I updated last year, it shows the support pillars and roof, helping make sense of the unique symmetrical and asymmetrical features of the architectural design. Two of the best photographic sources I used were Zack Hample (famed baseball snagger) and Craig Lotter. Enjoy!
The last diagram update for the Tokyo Dome was in March 2009 -- not as old and moldy as some of my diagrams, but close. Soon after the last MLB games played there ( Spring 2012), I wrote "I'll have to update that diagram sometime soon..." Sooner or later, that is!
And speaking of updates, the Japanese Leagues page is in dire need of one... In the mean time, you can check out Yakyujo - Ballparks in Japan, and japanball.com.