There are 12 teams in the NPB. We have been in contact with a few of them. Last week, the Chiba Lotte Marines gave us a very polite “Thanks for your interest” rejection letter. I don’t fault them for saying no. They have a business to run and don’t need some guys in New York begging to play baseball player for a day.
Just heard back from an official from the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles. They are the defending champions and currently have on their roster former MLBers Andruw Jones and Kevin Youkilis.
Anyway, the word from the Eagles is… there IS a way of getting this done.
Interestingly enough, they sell their first pitches as part of a corporate sponsorship. A company can pay to have “Your Product Here Night” at the ballpark where they get to send whoever they want to throw out the first pitch. A CEO or a mascot, or maybe perhaps two comedy writers from New York?
So, technically, this isn’t a no. Justin and I can throw the first pitch for the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles… if we pay $25,000-$30,000. And when we write the check, they would make it Stangel Night at the park. We’re considering it.*
*(We’re not considering it. We just wanted to sound like big shots.)
The next logical question is- Why don’t you do a Kickstarter campaign? We’re not going to go that route. The people shouldn’t have to pay for something like this. The people who run large corporations and want a nice fun PR story associated with them, on the other hand…
And have I mentioned how much I enjoy Rakuten’s Global Market website http://global.rakuten.com/en/ which is run by the strong and handsome Hiroshi Mikitani?