Video: Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki becomes a fan favourite -

Video: Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki becomes a fan favourite

Japanese shortstop’s game-winning hit gains standing ovation


Frank Gunn/CP

Jays backup shortstop Munenori Kawasaki has become even more of a fan favourite after Sunday’s game.

The Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in the ninth inning when Kawasaki stepped up to bat and hit a fastball pitch to centre-left field, bringing in J.P. Arencibia from third and Mark DeRosa from first.

The hit won the game for the Jays and earned the Japanese player, who joined the team this year, a standing ovation.

After the game, Kawasaki gave an on-field interview where, with the help of a Japanese-English phrase book, he said: “Thank you very much. My name is Munenori Kawasaki. I am from Japan. I am Japanese! My teammates give me an opportunity so I wanted to do something about it.”

His victory speech was cut short, however, as his teammates pied him and doused him with Gatorade.

The antics continued in the clubhouse, reports the National Post, where a Japanese reporter was on-hand to help Kawasaki translate, but he preferred to speak in English, saying his heroics made him: “Very, very, very happy.” And adding: “I’m Japanese. Next, please.”

Kawasaki’s presence on the team has been a bright spot in an otherwise poor season for Jays fans, who used social media to celebrate their favourite player after his winning hit.


Video: Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki becomes a fan favourite

  1. Why doesn’t Maclean’s write about how terrible this team is? Oh right, Maclean’s is owned by Rogers. So instead of producing an objective piece that details the failings of a team that costs millions of dollars, which will of course be absorbed by Rogers customers, you write about the smiles and happiness that one marginal player, who will soon be in the minors–upon Reyes’ return–has brought to the city of Toronto. Wow, that is about as bad as having to listen to Jamie Campbell do play-by-play for this team.

    • You have a heart of stone.

      • Tony’s right, especially about the Jamie Campbell part.