Mariners open 2012 season in Japan

Sep 28, 2011, 11:38 AM | Updated: 12:07 pm

As the Seattle Mariners tie a string around their 2011 baseball season this evening at Safeco Field, we’ve learned some exciting news about the start of their 2012 campaign. The M’s will face the Oakland Athletics in Japan.

It will be a two-game series in the Tokyo Dome March 28 and 29, potentially matching up two of Japan’s all-time favorite players, Ichiro and Hideki Matsui.

It’s the fouth time Major League Baseball has opened a season in Japan. In 2003, the Mariners were just 17 hours from boarding a plane for Tokyo, but with tension building about a U.S. invasion in Iraq, MLB Comissioner Bud Selig scuttled the series.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week the Mariners had safety concerns because of the radiation leaks at damaged Japanese nuclear power plants. In the past, scheduling and payments have been other hurdles to clear.

When the Mariners play in Tokyo, it will be a golden opportunity for the team’s principal owner, Kyoto-based Hiroshi Yamauchi, founder of Nintendo, to watch his team play. Mr. Yamauchi has owned the M’s since 1992, but never seen them in person.

Date Starting Pitcher
Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:40 pm

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