Manager Hideki Kuriyama, who led the Japan to their first title in three tournaments at the WBC = World Baseball Classic in baseball, returned to his home in Kuriyama Town, Hokkaido, and received blessings from the townspeople.
Japan time ago, in the WBC final held in the United States on the 22nd of this month, Japan defeated the United States 3-2 to win the title for the third time in three tournaments.
Coach Kuriyama, who led the Japan National Team, returned to his home in Kuriyama Town, Hokkaido on the 3th and visited the town hall on the 3th.
In front of the town hall, many townspeople, including children on spring break, gathered to welcome Coach Kuriyama, who arrived in a light truck in a jersey and boots and received a bouquet of flowers to celebrate.
At the ceremony that followed, Mayor Manabu Sasaki said, "Welcome back, the children in the Japan gave dreams and excitement. Thank you very much," while coach Kuriyama said, "I was able to get out of Kuriyama and compete to become the best in the world. Thank you very much for your support," he said, expressing his gratitude to the people who gathered.
After becoming the town's tourism ambassador in Heisei 11, Coach Kuriyama purchased land in Kuriyama Town and opened a baseball stadium named "Kurinoki Farm," where he lives at home and interacts with local people.
Kuriyama Town plans to hold a WBC victory parade in the future and present the Townspeople Honor Award to Coach Kuriyama.
After the ceremony, Coach Kuriyama said, "I was fluttering, but I feel like I'm finally back. From here, I want to go back and forth to Kuriyama Town and start running with all my might toward my next dream."