Archive > 02 August 2009

“K” Board to Appear in Fukuoka

» 02 August 2009 » In npb, pitching, sports business » Comments Off

“K” signs and boards are commonly seen at ballparks around the United States, but until now, uncommon in Japan. NPB fans will be able to see the same at Fukuoka Yahoo Dome starting this week. The board will be placed along the first base line and a “K” will  be added every time a SoftBank Hawks pitcher records a strikeout. Surprisingly this will be the first time an NPB team has permanently placed a “K” board.

A SoftBank spokesperson states, “Batters are able to receive an award (hitting an advertisement board/ceiling), so we decided the pitchers should be able to obtain something as well.” If a pitcher breaks the team record set on April 6th, 2008 by Shota Ohba recording 16 strikeouts in a game, the pitcher will receive 100-man yen ($10,000) worth of gift certificates.

In the first half, the SoftBank Hawks led the league with 657 total strikeouts. If strikeout shows by pitchers increase that should bring a positive for a team staying in the playoff spot and be a spice for some individuals. Ohba states, “100-man yen is pretty big. Of course I will go for it.”

If the prize acts as an incentive for high-strikeout performances, we can expect that to have an effect on a pitching staff aiming to keep its team in a playoff position.

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