Deaf student playing as catcher in high school baseball game

July 2, 2015

Ota-ku, Tokyo:

The Tokyo Regional Game of the National High School Baseball Tournament in summer begins on July 4.

Tamada Hiro (picture), a senior of Tokyo Metropolitan Omori High School in Ota-ku, is a catcher of the baseball team in the high school. He was a born Deaf, and he begun playing baseball when he was a first elementary grader at a school for the Deaf in Tokyo. During his school years until junior high school he had played an active part as a batter number 4 in a local baseball club.

Tamada had promised to continue the baseball with his Deaf friends, but he decided on a regular school, Omori High School, because the school for the Deaf has no baseball club.

However, placed in the different environment from a school for the Deaf, his communication didn't work so well that he thought of leaving the baseball club often. Yet, he did not give up training during the morning drill and a lunch break every day.

Tamada has learned company's talk by means of writing and gestures, directed in fielders by gestures, and sent a sign of an encouragement to the pitcher. He has tried to make a comfortable environment for all the teammates to play.

When Tamada was asked expectation in the last summer by the reporter, he answered by writing. "I will show I can play baseball with my strong determination even though I am Deaf. I'd like to enjoy  playing baseball."

The second game was held on July 11, which Omori High School won in 3-0. The team had the nineth inning of three points of leads, a crunch of the no outs full bases. Tamada the catcher took a short break, running to a mound and encouraging the pitcher. He fetched the two runners, and the game ended. 

Japanese sources:

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