It’s no surprise that Graco is used and loved by many families in this great country of ours. But what may be surprising to some is that Graco is also used and loved by families around this great world of ours. And in support of that, I recently had the opportunity to travel to our offices in Japan where I not only had a chance to meet and work with some of my colleagues from across the seas, but also had a chance to share in some of the local culture. Well, sort of. You see, just as here in the States, baseball is a favorite pastime in Japan. So I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had a chance (thanks to the Graco Japan team) to attend one of their major league games while I was there. I got to see the home team favorites – the Hanshin Tigers play (and win!!)
I have to admit, this was an amazingly fun experience! All of the things we know and love about baseball in the US were present – excited fans, vendors walking around serving yummy baseball food (though, in addition to the classics such as French fries and beer, they also had local favorites such as sushi and edamame). They also had a few customs we don’t have here in the US which were so fun. For example, when ever one of the favorite team members came up to bat, the entire stadium would sing a song that was written just for that player. In fact, when you took your seat, they handed out a song list for all of the players. And it wasn’t just a few extreme fans singing. It was literally the entire stadium. Or, at least those rooting for the home team, I should say.
Another fun custom the Japanese have at their games is during the 7th inning (which, in Japanese culture is considered a lucky number), if the home team is winning,they hand out balloons to all of the home team fans. Just when they tag out the 3rd player from the opposing team, the entire team releases their balloon into the air in celebration. It’s quite a sight to see. And with that, I’m fortunate enough that one of my colleagues caught it on film to share. Enjoy…we sure did!