While perusing MLBTR, I came across a mention of Japanese baseball club The Hiroshima Carp. Eager to find out more, I promptly Googled the Carp to see if they had a sweet- and or crazy-ass logo a la many a minor league team, but instead came across this gem of a team information page. Truly, this has to be the most honest description of a professional baseball franchise on the Internet.
“Partly owned by the City of Hiroshima and Toyo, a car manufacturing company, the Carp may be one of the poorest ball clubs in Japan. Because the team reportedly has a low salary benchmark above which it refuses to go, the Carp tend to rarely negotiate with free agents or sign high-priced foreign players.”
So the Carp are the Japanese Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Bored with pitchers’ duels? Enjoy watching a lot of action and home runs? If so, the Hiroshima Carp are your team. Hiroshima’s sluggers take advantage of their home ballpark’s shallow outfield walls.”
Everyone knows baseball fans hate pitchers duels. “Who wants to see me hit some dingers?”
“The shallow outfield fences make this the best park for fans seeking to catch a home run ball. This is a cozy old-fashioned ballpark for you to enjoy…but bring your own food, there’s not much to select from at the park.”
Could you imagine a Major League Baseball team imploring you to bring your own food to the game? Why would the Carp’s ownership deliberately implement poor concession stands? I guess the Japanese don’t care to eat their faces off at baseball games, unlike their American counterparts.
“Why the team picked a Philadelphia Phillie Phanatic-clone instead of a carp for a mascot remains a mystery. But fans don’t seem to care. Filling Hiroshima Stadium, Carp fans come in one flavor: rabid. Possibly the most energetic in Japan, Hiroshima’s cheering section repeats one hypnotic cheer for all their players. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to join.”
This is my favorite. Not only is the team named for a type of fish, but no one knows — not even the team’s rabidly insane fans — why the team chose a mascot that, in addition to having absolutely nothing to do with carp, is eerily similar to the Philly Fanatic of all things. Amazing.