Major League baseball players offer flowers at Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

On November 12, four members of the all-star team from U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB), including Kenta Maeda, a pitcher who used to play for the Hiroshima Carp, visited the Peace Memorial Park located Naka Ward. They laid flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and toured the Peace Memorial Museum. They will take part in the fourth game of an all-star series between MLB players and players from Japanese baseball teams, which will take place at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima on November 13.

Besides Mr. Maeda, Don Mattingly, the team’s manager, Mitch Haniger, an outfielder, and Jim Small, the vice president for MLB Asia Pacific, paid a visit to the park. Guided by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, they offered a flower wreath in front of the cenotaph to console the souls of the A-bomb victims.

After laying the flower wreath at the cenotaph, Mr. Maeda spoke to the media and said, “One of the reasons I decided to join this all-star series is the fact that one of the games is being held in Hiroshima. Through baseball, I want to convey the message to the U.S. and Japan that this is an important place for people in Hiroshima.”

At the museum, the group looked at exhibits that included a computer graphics display that shows the destruction of central Hiroshima as a result of the atomic bombing. After the tour, Mr. Mattingly wrote a message in the museum’s guestbook on behalf of the team, which said that they won’t forget the people who perished, and that they will cherish their friendship through baseball and wish for peace together.

(Originally published on November 13, 2018)