SOURCE: Toyonaka Sister Cities Association

May 01, 2007 10:00 ET

San Mateo Baseball Team to Visit Japan

Youngsters Will Make Goodwill Tour, Visit Sister City Toyonaka

SAN MATEO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- An all-star team of 19 boys from San Mateo's youth baseball leagues will represent the United States as unofficial goodwill ambassadors during their visit to San Mateo's Sister City of Toyonaka, Japan, and play several Japanese teams this summer. Their invitational goodwill tour continues a tradition that began in 1979.

The San Mateo Sister City Association 2007 Toyonaka Goodwill Baseball Team includes 11- and 12-year-old boys from all of San Mateo's youth leagues. Their journey is scheduled for August 13 to August 23. The noncompetitive exhibition tour will be the first time the boys have played together as a team. They will visit Hiroshima, Nara, and Osaka in addition to Toyonaka, playing five games in all.

Baseball is one purpose of the visit, but the primary goal is to represent the United States as unofficial goodwill ambassadors while experiencing another country's culture firsthand. During their stay in Japan, the players will live in the family homes of one opposing team. An adult coach and manager plus 11 other adult chaperones will accompany the boys. However, no parents will make the trip -- this program is focused on the youngsters. In Japan, the San Mateo ballplayers must adapt to local rules, which include no chewing gum, bowing before and after each game, exchanging gifts with opposing ballplayers, and grooming the field after the game.

The San Mateo players and coaches were honored by San Mateo City Council, Mayor Jack Matthews, and Deputy Mayor Carole Groom at a recent council meeting.

San Mateo and Toyonaka have been sister cities since 1963 and began exchanging youth baseball teams in 1979. Usually, the two cities alternate as hosts, sending a team abroad every two years. There was a respite after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but the sister cities are now resuming their routine. Among past players to visit Toyonaka representing San Mateo was Tom Brady, now the quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Upcoming Fund-Raising Events

The San Mateo ballplayers will begin practicing together after their Little League season ends in July. Meanwhile, they are raising money to pay for the trip, which receives no public funding. (The San Mateo Sister Cities Association is a nonprofit organization.) The team needs to raise $60,000 to pay for travel expenses, equipment, uniforms, and goodwill gifts. The team will raise the money from various sources, including corporate appeals, private donations, a dinner-dance auction, and a golf tournament.

Saturday, May 12

-- Dinner-dance & auction: Beresford Rec Center, 2720 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo.

Friday, June 22

-- Golf tournament at Poplar Creek Golf Course, 1700 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo.

The team is accepting tax-deductible donations (tax ID number 94-1588552) through the San Mateo Sister City Association (Toyonaka, Japan Division), P.O. Box 729, San Mateo, CA 94401.

High-resolution digital files of the photographs accompanying this press release are available for downloading on this web page: http://www.bigwavepr.com/toyonaka.html

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:

    Constance Sweeney
    Big Wave Public Relations
    650-358-9119
    Email Contact

    George Musante
    Sister Cities Association
    650-522-7462
    Email Contact