An article distributed by “RSK Sanyo Broadcasting” on April 10 has become a hot topic.
Yu Kato (27), who was once called “too beautiful a professional baseball player” and a media sensation, spoke candidly about the “pains of female athletes” together with Nodoka Harada, a former member of the Women’s World Cup baseball team. In the article, Kato said the following.
It was an era when it was rare to see girls playing baseball, so if you had long hair, you were often identified as a “woman” and pointed fingers at others.
In October 2003, she passed the entrance test for the Women’s Professional Baseball League. At 167 cm tall and with a model-like figure, Kato’s play attracted attention not only from baseball fans but also from many others.
FRIDAY” (November 6, 2003 issue) interviewed Kato immediately after she joined the women’s professional baseball league. What is not so well known is that she was doing a “double-duty as a singer. We would like to reproduce the article from that time and introduce her beautiful voice that moved the Japanese national team players to tears (some contents have been modified) –.
Five sets of 100 tees every day
Kato tells the story of how he started playing baseball.
My father was the manager of a youth baseball team in my hometown (Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture), my mother was the manager, and my brother, who was four years older than me, was a player. When I was five years old, my father asked me if I wanted to try it. Once I started, I was having so much fun. ……
In high school, she was a member of the Asahi Trust, a women’s club team, and hit over .300 for two consecutive years. In 2003, she contributed to the team winning the All-Japan Women’s Hardball Club Baseball Championship.
I put up a net in my yard and bat 100 balls every day for five sets of tee-balls. My idol is Ogasawara (Michihiro)-san, who always takes a full swing.
Kato has another side to him. He is a singer-songwriter who writes lyrics. In October 2003, he made his CD debut with “Kimi no Sora/Fight! In October 2003, she made her CD debut with “Kimi no sora/Fight!
My mother was a teacher at Yamaha Electone School, and I took music lessons as well as baseball until I was in the second grade. I was in the 6th grade of elementary school when I started playing again. My father bought a CD titled “Tomodachi no Uta (Poem of a Friend)” by Ataru Nakamura. When I sang the song after copying him, my mother surprised me by saying, “You’re so good! She was amazed. Since then, I have sung at school morning assemblies and held mini-concerts at live music clubs.
As she entered the workforce, she had even more opportunities to sing in public.
When the Japanese national team won the World Cup in September 2002, I was invited to a fan meeting and sang “Dorikamu’s ‘Dokodemo Demo'” at the event. All the players cried. Akiko Shimura, the captain of the team, told us that she was “very moved. ……
I had given up on the idea that it would be impossible to play both baseball and music as a professional, but those words gave me a push. I decided to try anything I wanted to do, and through an acquaintance of my father’s, I pitched the idea to an office.”
Kato currently runs a baseball school for elementary school girls. We hope that her beautiful singing voice will also encourage women who aspire to become baseball players.
PHOTO： Tetsuko Takemoto, Shinji Hamasaki