Kazuya Kamenashi will take on the job as Nihon TV’s live “Baseball Special Supporter”. He talked to us about his childhood baseball dreams.
Q: Congratulations on being selected as Nihon TV’s “Dramatic Game 1844″ baseball special supporter, and getting the chance to be a live guest at pretty much every game!
K(amenashi): I was surprised and happy to get a job doing something I’ve watched since primary school.
Q: Getting straight into it, what do you want to do or what do you think about it?
K: I’m not reporting about what’s going on or am I a commentator. I can’t predict the pennant race like Suguru Ekawa-san, but I can talk about what’s so great about the game from the point-of-view of someone who watches the game on TV, and I hope I can give people a taste of what players and coaches go through behind the scenes. I’ve had surprises in “Going! Sports & News” where I got to experience things I’d never seen or heard of before. Things like hitting a home run; it looks amazing, but there’s so much to training involved and people supporting you behind the scenes until you get it right. I’d never had the chance to see that in action so it’s had a lasting impression on me.
Q: Do you want to channel that experience into your new job?
K: I’d like to be able to put words to what I’ve experienced, what I’ve seen, but I also want to be able to communicate with the crowd that comes to the game.
Q: I think a lot of fans would want to come the baseball stadium too.
K: I think being able to see it with your own eyes, and to feel the atmosphere in the baseball stadium is one of the many great things about this sport. When I got to go to a real game when I was little, I remember putting on the wristband I’d got given and cheering on my team. My most memorable moment was when I realised I was surrounded by people I didn’t know, but everyone was cheering for the same team so it felt like we were one.
Q: Do you remember the first live game you went to?
K: I do. I went with my dad. We were right at the top of the second floor in Tokyo Dome, and I remember going, ‘wow’ (laughs). Then the train ride home was so packed. I was still small then so I my dad had thought it through and he lead me to the front of the carriage where there’s a little more space and he used his body as a safety guard to protect me. I remember going, ‘hey dad’. (laughs)
Q: What’s good about watching baseball on TV?
K: The best thing about TV is that everything’s in detail. There’s drama you can only watch on TV, like seeing how a player feels by looking right at their face. You don’t have the distance you get in a stadium and the TV gives you more depth. Obviously the game’s important, but you also get to watch the the entire drama unfolding between the two teams.
Q: What do you think is the best way to enjoy baseball, Kamenashi-san?
K: The first thing is to get a favourite team or player and support them, that’s all you need to start loving the game. There are a lot of rules in baseball, but I think you can pick them up easily as you go. One of the things I’ve learnt while doing my TV show reporting was that the game’s direction can change in an instant, and that’s really exciting. Like watching a team losing by 10 – 0 and in the ninth inning with two outs turn things around and hold on to win the game. I hope people can watch out for moments like that.
Q: Kamenashi-san, what got you into baseball?
K: When I was little, I remember seeing my dad watching baseball on the TV, and that’s when I first learnt about baseball. Then I got interested in it, started following players like Ichiro or Hideki Matsui, and dreamt about becoming like them. I didn’t sit down and learn the whole rule book, I watched it and started to catch on things about the game. Then I’d start asking myself all these questions. I hope I can bring things like that up, stand up for the fans, and get my message across without forgetting where it had all started for me.
Q: I’ve heard that the theme song “DIAMOND” by KAT-TUN was chosen because it’s a song about the diamond base in baseball and about the strong bond in a team?
K: It was surprising enough that I’d been chosen as their live guest supporter, but it was unbelievable when I heard they were going to use a song I sing as well. We’re still making it, but it’s going to be the perfect song for “Dramatic Game” and I’m going to work hard at recording it.
Q: Is it true you’ll get your own report “Kazuya Kamenashi’s baseball supporter’s club”, and be able to invite a baseball-loving guest to the commentator’s box?
K: I’ll be bringing in fans who loves baseball, fans who love it but don’t really know too much…..I think depending on what guest we have, it’ll change the angle of the game.
Q: Who do you want to invite?
K: This is someone close to me, but if I could choose it would be (Yuichi) Nakamaru. We’ve actually been to a game at Tokyo Dome together once. He loves baseball too. Maybe it’s just me, but I think he’d make the game interesting. It’d be cool to watch it with him and teach him a lot of things about the game as it goes. (laughs)
Trans Credit: momo-edgewood.wordpress