Rissho University is located near Tokyo, and has historically been one of the top collegiate baseball programs in Japan. It will be sending 23 first- and second-year student-athletes to Los Angeles to participate in several exhibition games.
The schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Aug. 8, doubleheader vs. Academy Barons, 12 and 3 p.m. at MLB Urban Youth Academy, 901 E. Artesia Blvd., Compton
Friday, Aug. 9, vs. East Los Angeles Dodgers, 7 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Memorial Stadium at Brookside Park, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
Sunday, Aug. 11, vs. Academy Barons, 10:15 a.m. (pre-game ceremony at 10 a.m.) at MLB Urban Youth Academy, 901 E. Artesia Blvd., Compton
All games are free of charge.
Rissho will face some top talent. The Academy Barons (www.academybarons.com/) are sponsored by the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy. They participate in the California Collegiate League and are assembled with college players throughout the nation that return to Los Angeles during the summer.
The East Los Angeles Dodgers (www.eastladodgers.org/) are an elite summer baseball club that participates in the Orange County Collegiate League. They were established in 1997 and have built their program on pitching and defense.
The visitors will get the opportunity to do some sightseeing on their brief trip. They will get an on-field tour and visit with Dodger Coach Trey Hillman, who was the manager of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters when they won the 2006 Japan Series Championship.
They will also attend the Dodgers game on Aug. 10, the same day that the Dodgers will be honoring Hideo Nomo, the first Japan-born major-leaguer to permanently relocate to Major League Baseball in the U.S. He is often credited with paving the way for the subsequent wave of Japanese players entering the big leagues.
No trip would be complete without a visit to the beach, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, shopping and the opportunity to feast on an In-&-Out Burger.
This trip was made possible through an arrangement between Rissho University and the Far East Baseball Exchange (FebEx).
For most of the Rissho student-athletes, this will be their first visit to the U.S. In
addition to the exhibition games, the trip will also fulfill part of their mandated educational requirements.
FebEx has arranged a tour of the Japanese American National Museum and a tour and classroom visit at the University of Southern California. At JANM, they will learn about and appreciate America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. At USC, they will sit in on a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Sum, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy.
The mission of FebEx is to build and foster a bridge of understanding between Asia and the U.S. through the game of baseball. Its program is designed to allow youth from different countries to come together on a common baseball field to share and exchange their cultures, ideas, visions, hopes and dreams.