Every year the return of the cherry blossoms on the island also means the return of pro baseball. Just like the Sunshine State and Grand Canyon State are the destinations for MLB teams in the States, so are the sub-tropical islands for Japan’s pro ballplayers.
Daniel Ross, a former Nile C. Kinnick right-hander, got the win in relief, his first as a pro, as his Bradenton Pirates edged the Sarasota Orioles 9-8 on Friday in a rookie-level Gulf Coast League game.
I was running late, as usual. A mini-crisis had erupted on email at home, and typing an emergency response had put me behind schedule. My tires squealed turning past the “Lot Full” sign at the parking lot entrance across from the ballpark.
Daniel Ross, a right-hander who posted a career 2.36 ERA and averaged eight strikeouts per game in four seasons at Nile C. Kinnick and just graduated from Millersville University, will now try to take his game to the professional level.
Discuss the matter with a handful of coaches and players, and one might think that next week’s Far East baseball tournaments are merely a chase for second place, as dominant as American School In Japan and Yokota have been over recent years.