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Fire at Osaka Stadium and Nomura's HR Record

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Fire at Osaka Stadium and Nomura's HR Record
I just saw the most amazing story on TV. It was a sort of quiz show, where celebs tried to guess how various "mysteries" occurred. Katsuya Nomura was one of the guests.

His mystery was about a game way back in 1963, in his days with the Nankai Hawks: a sudden 2nd-innings downpour drenched the ground at the old Osaka Stadium in Namba, making it virtually unplayable, but the ground "mysteriously" dried completely in 20 minutes.

Nomura had hit a spectacular out-of-the-park HR, and he was anxious to see the game start again, and at least make it to the 5th inning, so that his homer would be officially counted. But the diamond was covered in puddles.

Nomura suggested to the ground officials that they pour gasoline on the ground and burn the water off; incredibly, they agreed. The TV program showed grainy old B&W footage of the fire, and produced newspaper articles reporting on the event.

Apparently, the ground was playable in under half an hour. The game restarted, and Nomu-san's HR was officially entered in the records.

In a fascinating footnote, that HR turned out to be very important, because it was in that year that Nomura hit 52 HRs, beating Whats-his-name Kozuru's record of 51.

NB 1: Fire prevention laws prohibit such pyrotechnics these days.

NB 2: The old Osaka Stadium is now a hotel/shopping/parking/whatever complex, but apparently the pitcher's and batter's plates are still marked in the paving.
Comments
Re: Fire at Osaka Stadium and Nomura's HR Record
[ Author: Guest: Suraj Rupani | Posted: Jul 24, 2003 12:03 PM ]

That's quite interesting. I was following the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, and it is apparently common practice to do that on Cricket pitches to clear off rain remnants. Never heard it being done on a baseball field though. Rather reckless.
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