A circle of friends connected by gootouchi! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.
This week, we will be presenting the circle of friends connected by Yakult fans prior to the “Mynavi Swallows Summer Night Festival,” a public live broadcast to be held in the front area of Jingu Stadium.
On August 15, nonfiction writer Shoichi Hasegawa appeared with Tokyo Yakult Swallows alumnus Ryota Igarashi to talk about what he has learned from joining all 12 teams’ fan clubs and how he enjoys watching baseball games by himself.
What I noticed after joining the fan clubs of all 12 teams
Celeina (MC): Let me start with a profile. Shoichi Hasegawa was born in 1970 and joined a publishing company after graduating from Waseda University. He was involved in editing fashion magazines and became a freelancer in 2003. As a “Yakult-loving 12-team Fan Club Critic®,” he has published various baseball-related books, with a focus on the Yakult Swallows.
Takano (MC): What does it mean to be a “12-team fan club critic”?
Hasegawa: I have been a member of the fan clubs of the 12 baseball teams since 2005, and this year is my 19th year, and next year will be my 20th year.
Takano: That’s amazing.
Celeina: Why did you decide to join the fan clubs of all 12 teams?
Hasegawa: In 2004, the year before I joined the fan clubs, there was an event called the baseball world reorganization riots, and each team started saying that fan service was very important.
I have been a member of the Yakult fan club for 43 years, so I know it well, but I didn’t know about other fan clubs, so I decided to join other fan clubs so that I could make comparisons and learn about fan service.
Celeina: Did you discover anything with it? Differences, attractions, and so on?
Hasegawa: They are totally different. Each team has its own personality, and since it has been almost 20 years since 2005, the level of each fan club has improved and is really getting better.
Celeina: What kind of benefits does the current Yakult fan club offer?
Hasegawa: Yes, they do. First of all, just like the fan clubs of celebrities, idols, and big-name musicians, the benefit is that it is easy to get tickets.
Celeina: So it all comes down to that.
Hasegawa: All 12 teams have ticket privileges. We also try to differentiate ourselves in other ways, such as whether there are perks for those who come several times, or whether they can get goods when they join the club.