The curtain comes down on one of Japan's baseball parks
by Bob Timmermann
The Hiroshima Carp played their final regular season home game at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. The Carp won the game, 6-3 over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and remained tied with the Chunichi Dragons for the final playoff spot in the Central League.
Hiroshima plays its final seven games on the road, starting Monday with a single game against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien. Then there will be three in Tokyo against the Swallows, a day off, and then three at Yokohama. Chunichi plays seven road games, one against Yakult in Tokyo and one against the Swallows in Yokohama. The Dragons also play two against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome and three against the BayStars in Yokohama.
Hiroshima Municipal Stadium opened in 1957 for regular season play and it was built across the street from the Peace Park marking the site where the world was introduced to atomic warfare back on August 6, 1945. The park's first baseball game was an exhibition between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Kansai All-Stars on November 1, 1956. There are pictures here and here.
I've visited the park twice and it was the first place I ever saw a baseball game in Japan. I wrote more about it during my 2003 trip to Japan. Hiroshima Municipal was a tiny stadium which measured just 91.4 meters down each line, a little under 300 feet, and it was about 380 feet to center. However, the stadium wasn't like Coors Field as there is a lot of foul territory and the ball didn't seem to carry well.