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Photographer's Note

This photo was taken at a baseball bat factory in western Japan six years ago today. The tour of the bat factory was part of the baseball-themed trip in which our group was made up of players and tourists who love the game. While in Japan our group played games against Japanese teams made up of older players just like us. We won just as many games as we lost but the win-loss record didn't matter to any of us.

The reason I dug out my Japan pictures is quite simple. We attended a very nice party and dinner the night before (May 14) hosted by the gentlemen who would be our opponents later this evening (May 15). At the dinner one of the players, through an interpreter, asked me how old I was because I look so young. I told him, also through an interpreter, that I was 51 years old tonight (May 14) but at our game tomorrow night (May 15) I would be 52 years old. The man then told me that when I batted the next night that the pitcher would throw me a nice easy "fast" ball right down the middle as a birthday gift.

The following night when I came up to bat for the first time the entire Japanese team stopped the game, sang Happy Birthday to me and gave me a very nice gift and a card signed by everybody on the team. Then, as promised, the pitcher threw a nice easy pitch right down the middle which I mashed into the right field corner for a triple. Once I was standing safely on 3rd base the entire Japanese team applauded and cheered. It was without a doubt one of the best birthdays I've ever had.

That was 6 years ago today, my 52nd birthday, a day I will never forget.

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Additional Photos by Gregory Wagner (fotoguy22) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 126 W: 60 N: 666] (4702)
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