OAKLAND – Big league newcomer Hiroyuki Nakajima received a warm welcome Sunday at the Oakland Athletics’ fan day.
Nakajima expressed delight with his new surroundings, where he was greeted by enthusiastic fans.
“All the fans were cheering and calling me Hiro,” the always-smiling Nakajima said through an interpreter, the A’s website reported. “I was surprised about that.”
After a stellar career with the Seibu Lions, Nakajima said he had no special concerns heading into his first season in the bigs with the defending American League West champs.
“I’ll familiarize myself in camp,” he said. “By opening day, I want my eyes and body to remember what kinds of pitchers there are.”
Nakajima was making his second visit to the A’s home field, the Oakland Coliseum. On his first trip to Oakland, the park was configured for American football, and this time for motocross.
Asked which historic ballpark he was looking forward to seeing this season, he answered, “This one.”