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2014.08.04

甲子園出場!

甲子園大会に出場してきました!!!

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といっても、高校野球ではなく、ロータリー・クラブの野球大会で、
所属する「高松南ロータリー・クラブ」の選手として出場しました!

言うまでもなく、甲子園は野球をする人間にとっては、憧れの聖地。

しかし、ぼくは、ものごころついた時から「プロ野球で活躍すること」が、将来の夢であり目標でしたので、小学4年生の時に、高松商業の応援で初めて甲子園を体験するも、生意気にも「プロに行く前に、何度か甲子園くらい来るだろう」と思っていて、興奮するどころか何の感慨もなく、試合展開や采配、試合の流れを読んでいました。

ところが、2009年に娘と甲子園に桜町中学の後輩、高橋涼平くんの
寒川高校と日本文理の試合を観に来た際に、その美しさと臨場感に
圧倒され、感動しました。

そして、その日本文理と広島の堂林翔太の中京大中京の決勝戦も観戦。

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今回、春には甲子園出場が決まり、マウンドに上がるべく、
日々、コンディションを調整してきました。

試合前日の金曜日の夜に、参加12チームが集まる前夜祭があり、
ぼくは、前夜祭から出席。

それが、その前日の木曜日の朝、右足カカトに激しい痛み!
その日の朝は走ることもできず、歩くのがやっと。

一日様子を見るも、痛みは治まらず、かかりつけの整形外科へ。
レントゲンを観た先生は「痛風ですね」と。

え~っ!!!
これまで、尿酸値が高かったことはないし、食事は高タンパク
低カロリーと野菜の摂取に気をつけてるし、何で~~~!?!?!

と言ったところで、痛みが収まるわけでもなく、
翌日に試合があることを伝え、痛み止めの注射とロキソニン。

しかし、痛い!あまりにも、痛い!!!

同行の秋山俊二さんは、マスターズ陸上でアジア記録を持つアスリート
ですが、ぼくと同じく大のビール好き!(笑)

その秋山さんに症状を伝え、前夜祭の乾杯からビールを飲まないことを
伝えると、「痛風じゃないから、ビールを飲もう!!!」と。(笑)

前夜祭を終え、秋山さんと、73歳の大橋投手に小野さんの四人で、
三宮での二次会へも足を引きずりながらの移動。

試合当日も、痛みは消えず、夕方からの試合なので、
お昼にロキソニンを2錠。

甲子園への入口は選手と同じ6号門!

入るとすぐに、選手がバッグを担いでスロープを登り、
監督などをインタビューするスペース。

着替えは、一塁側ロッカールームを使用。
ユニフォームに着替えて、室内練習場でアップ。

恐る恐る走ってみると、全く痛くない!!!

ロキソニンが効いたのか、アドレナリンのせいか!?!
とにかく、まったく痛くない!!!(笑)

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グラウンドに出ると、その美しさに心を打たれます。

甲子園球場は、この場所で野球をすることを夢見た
数多の高校球児の思いが詰まっているからなのか、
ここで繰り広げられた百万のドラマの舞台だからなのか、
グラウンドと客席が一体となった、素晴らしい球場です。

高揚感あふれる臨場感は、そのかたちだけでなく、音が生み出します。
打球の音や歓声は、特別なライブ感に溢れる臨場感。

グラウンドに降り立つと、客席とは全く違う光景。
手入れの行き届いたグラウンドはとても美しく、
それを優しく包み込むスタンド。
まさに、夢舞台!

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先発は、我がチーム最年長の大橋康範投手!
ぼくの母と同じ年の73歳!!!

今期は、4試合に登板し、3試合で2イニングスを無失点と好調!
すると、なんと2イニングスを無失点と完璧な投球!
大橋投手、甲子園でもみせてくれました!

相手は、和歌山県の海南東ロータリー・クラブ。
左腕投手は、よいピッチャーでした。
球は低めに制球され、甘い球がありません。

2回を終わり、0-0の状況で、マウンドへ。
ブルペンでは、久しぶりに肩の痛みを気にせずに投げました。
もちろん、この時には「痛風」の痛みはすっかりありません。(笑)

マウンドの土を均し、キャッチャーへ視線を向けると、
視界に入る全ての客席は、マウンドへと向かっています。

球場の中でも、その中心。
まさに「舞台」です。

マウンドからの光景は格別で、勇気と力を与えてくれます。

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相手左腕に、外へ逃げながら沈むツーシームをうまく拾われ、
1点を奪われましたが、3回を投げ切りました。

甲子園で試合をしているという感慨は全くなく、
この舞台でよいプレーをすることだけに集中していました。

甲子園には魔物が潜んでいて、通常では考えられないような
プレーが起こることがありますが、その雰囲気を少し体験できました。

試合は、均衡した試合となり、3-1と2点ビハインドで迎えた最終回、
秋山さんの執念の一打で1点差に迫るも試合終了。

しかし、緊張感のある良い試合で、甲子園球場に失礼のない
試合だったのではないかと思います。

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今度は、この場所で、満席のお客さんが入った状態で試合をしたいと思いますが、この望みをどう叶えれば良いのかまだわかりません。(笑)

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