Kadena baseball team comes out swinging

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nestor Cruz
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
There was a time on Kadena Air Base when watching a "ball game" meant supporting the squadron's softball team or watching youth games. 

That cultural aspect is about to change as Kadena's first varsity baseball team prepares to make a name for itself as it competes against others in Okinawa and the mainland. 

The Kadena AB Eagles, composed of Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and a handful of civilians, is still in its infancy since it was only founded in February by team manager Brandon Dong. 

"Our team will represent Kadena throughout Japan, acting as ambassadors and giving a professional view of the United States military," said Dong, who also founded the Tinker AFB Rangers. "We're a diverse group of players stationed in Okinawa, ranging in rank from enlisted to officer. We love the game of baseball just as the Japanese do." 

Love for the game is what brought these individuals together, since the team does not receive funding from any sponsor. 

"Most fees come out of the pocket of our individual players," Dong said. 

With an 8-2 record already under their belt, the fledgling team stands poised to take on other teams on the island during the first season of the Okinawa Military Adult Baseball League. The league season is tentatively set to begin Sept. 8 and end with a single elimination tournament toward the end of October. 

"The reason the season will be short is because the league is pretty new, so basically this is going to be a trial and error period for the league," said Eagles pitcher Jahsan Page. "This season will give us time to work out the kinks and allow us to present an even better league in the future." 

A coaches meeting is scheduled to be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 22 at Camp Foster's field 9. A players draft and tryouts will be held at 2 and 4 p.m. Aug. 26. 

For more information on the Kadena Eagles, visit the team Web site at www.leaguelineup.com/kadenabaseball. 

For more information on the Okinawa Military Adult Baseball League, visit the league's Web site at www.leaguelineup.com/OMABL.