The first clear memory of birthday presents from my father is a green baseball glove. I was 11 or 12. I was mad about watching high school baseball tournament. And when I started junior high school, I joined school softball team without letting my parents know. I had scarlet fever and rheumatic fever at the same time when I was 6 and hospitalized for a month. As a result my kidneys were damaged and I wasn't allowed to do any 'hard' sports, such as swimming and marathon, even though I had no symptoms and perfectly felt fine. But still, I simply couldn't tell my parents for a little while that I was playing softball. I ended up playing softball for nearly 10 years, for high school and even for university, though.
I hadn't watched much baseball for a long time since I got out of Japan. But not this year. One of the high schools which has a connection to Waseda university, the university I went, won the summer tournament for the first time. I went to a girls' high school and there has been or will be no chance to participate the tournament as it's for boys. That's the reason I've got a special feeling for Waseda's high schools in respect of baseball. I was so delighted that they won the tournament. In addition, the manager of the team (not the main coach) is someone I know. He is Mr Shinichi Sasaki, who was one of the members of the Waseda Science and Engineering department baseball team, where I also belonged to to help the players.
Mr Sasaki would tell me he wanted to be a high school teacher to coach the baseball team. Unlike other Science and Engineering students, he was taking extra subjects to be qualified as a teacher. I knew he got a job at a high school in Tokyo and became a baseball coach as well. Yet I've lost in touch with him since. So when I realised that he was the manager of the winning team, I was really moved. In these years, he must have worked very hard to be a good coach and found a job at the Waseda's high school, which has one of the top baseball teams in Japan, and got a post as a baseball team manager, which must be terribly competitive. His dreams came true. It's not ordinary achievements. He is now the top manager in Japan. I can still remember Mr Sasaki's serious and cool looking, and I can easily imagine how determined he must have been to make his dreams come true. I have to realise that there are people who have worked hard with self belief and achieve something special in their lives. Looking at myself, I feel a bit embarrassed, how little I have done in the same span of time...
Our family will expand soon and I will have 2 boys. With 2 boys, we will be able to not only play catch but also practice hitting balls etc. It'll be really nice! And I really hope that my 2 sons will grow up to be a sincere and confident men who can be determined to achieve their dreams. But, how can I bring them up to have such determination??