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The Pacific League Nippon Ham Fighters will hold their second annual Arizona Diamondbacks Day promotion on Sunday, June 15, at Tokyo Dome.

Diamondbacks Day is held so the Nippon Ham team can honor the National League club (its working partner), and the Fighters ball club is inviting 3,000 foreign fans as guests to this fun international event.

This year, it will take place on Father’s Day, and the game is between the Fighters and Orix BlueWave (No, the D’Backs will not be at Tokyo Dome). This means we will see two teams with opposing American managers, Trey Hillman of the Fighters and Leon Lee of Orix.

Besides saluting the Arizona team, the Fighters will honor the foreign players (and managers) and you, the foreign fans in Japan. This may be the last time the promotion, also known as “gaijin day,” will be held in Tokyo, as the Nippon Ham franchise will move to Sapporo for the 2004 season.

Here is some of what to expect on June 15: The Fighters, Diamondbacks and some kind sponsors will offer door prizes to be won by lucky fans, and a special award will be given to the Most Valuable Player of the official Pa League game.

Public address announcements throughout the day will be made in English as well as Japanese, and a message from the Diamondbacks will be read prior to the game.

Diamondbacks Day reminders: You may bring your own food and drink, but cans and bottles are not allowed inside Tokyo Dome. There is a wide variety of Japanese and western foods and drinks on sale at the stadium.

Unused tickets may not be sold under any circumstances. You may bring Japanese friends or family members in your group and it will add to the festive and international atmosphere if you wear the cap, T-shirt or jersey of your favorite major league or Japanese team, even if it is not the Diamondbacks or Fighters.

The seats are together in blocks located in the lower stands between first base and right field or third base and left field or in the upper deck behind first or third base.

Tokyo Dome is in Bunkyo Ward in the center of Tokyo, accessible from JR Suidobashi Station on the Sobu Line, or through Suidobashi Station on the Municipal (Toei) Subways Mita Line, or Korakuen Station on the Eidan Subways Marunouchi or Namboku Lines. There is no parking for passenger cars at Tokyo Dome.

Here’s how to get your tickets: Send a stamped (80 yen), standard-sized, self-addressed (including seven-digit postal code) Japanese envelope directly to me with your request of up to four tickets. Send to: Wayne Graczyk, 1-12-18 Kichijoji Higashi-cho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo-to 180-0002.

This is an excellent opportunity, especially for those who have never seen a Japanese pro baseball game in person or have never been to the Tokyo Dome.

The game starts at 1 p.m., but be sure to get there early to catch batting practice and the opening ceremony, and you may be one of the 5,000 fans to receive the lucky card numbers for the door prize drawing.

If you should arrive real early, check out the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum next to Gate 21.

See you at the Big Egg!

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