News

Dreams of American baseball

Left to Right: Miki Fukasawa, Christian Clouthier, Shinya Arai all three members of the Humboldt State Intramural Baseball team. Photo | Danny Dunn Left to Right: Miki Fukasawa, Christian Clouthier, Shinya Arai all three members of the Humboldt State Intramural Baseball team. Photo | Danny Dunn

By | Danny Dunn

Miki Fukasawa’s journeyed from Sagamihara City, Japan, to Arcata, Calif. in his pursuit of playing baseball in America.

“My lifelong dream was to play baseball in America and now I am,” Fukasawa said.

Fukasawa is a catcher on the Humboldt State Intramural Baseball team. Fukasawa came to HSU in a study abroad program. He previously attended J.F. Oberlin University, located about an hour outside of Tokyo, Japan. There, Fukasawa was studying English. Fukasawa was also a catcher on the J.F. Oberlin baseball team and hopes to rejoin the his former team after his semester at HSU.

“When I move back to Japan, I want to learn more English, and play baseball as long as possible,” Fukasawa said. “The dream would be to become a professional baseball player either in Japan, or even for Major League Baseball.”

Fukasawa found out about the study abroad program, from some friends at his university back home.

Fukasawa said that so far he cannot complain about the Humboldt life. His favorite food since arriving at HSU has been the pizza from The Depot on campus. Fukasawa said that he feels no added pressure to perform on the baseball team, and that he enjoys his teammates very much

Fukasawa found housing in Arcata with fellow intramural teammate and HSU student Christian Clouthier. Clouthier is a second year transfer student from Sacramento. This is Clouthier’s second season with the team, while also acting as the team treasurer. These duties include getting people reimbursed for away games, collecting the dues of the players, and estimating the total cost of the season expenses.

Clouthier has done more than that, he has opened his apartment to Fukasawa for the semester. Clouthier lives in the same complex with an international student coordinator at Humboldt State, who told him about Fukasawa.

“It was just me and my girlfriend in the apartment, she is half Japanese and thought it would be a good idea,” Clouthier said. “We had an extra room, so we thought it would be a good thing to do.”

Fukasawa is not the only Japanese ball player on the HSU intramural squad, Shinya Arai is from Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa, Japan. He also plays catcher and a little bit of third base for the intramural team.

“I have always wanted to attend an American university. I chose HSU because I like the California climate,” Arai said.

Arai started playing ball around when he was around 9 years old, but stopped around junior high school. He was fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to the HSU team.

Arai has enjoyed his time in Humboldt County, he is staying in an apartment in McKinleyville. His favorite food so far has been from the Chinese restaurants around town.

Arai likes playing on the baseball team, but says at times there can be confusion on the field with the language barrier.

When Arai returns home he will continue with school, and learn more about travel and english, in hopes of one day becoming a sightseeing organizer.

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