Tetsuya Utsumi knew it was an omen heralded by the angels of yakyu, who the men and women of Japan refer the Great American Pastime as. The New York Yankees had just defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series 7-3 at Yankee Stadium.
It was a signal from the baseball forces that be: the Yomiuri Giants, long-regarded as the "New York Yankees of Japan," would win the 2009 Japan Series.
Sparks filled his eyes as he said to the scrutinizing local press before Game 6 against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, "One word I will say and no more: CHANCE. All right, one sentence more: we will win this series . And Hokkaido must give up for all they are worth, these unbelievers will not stop us."
It was chance worth taking in Sapporo, as the flagship club of the Central League shut out the Pacific League champions 2-0 to clinch the 21st national championship for Tatsunori Hara's ball club.
The victory was sweet redemption for Utsumi, who was ineffective in Game 2 of the best-of-seven. "That was my best performance of the year," Utsumi said on his performance. "I had a disappointing outing in the second game, so I was loo...
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