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Web exclusive: The Keller/Cloney Japan Diaries

Local pitchers embark on a baseball journey in Japan

Posted: June 15, 2011 8:07 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2011 8:07 p.m.

West Ranch pitcher and senior-to-be J.C. Cloney.

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Newly graduated West Ranch High pitcher Ryan Keller and West Ranch pitcher and senior-to-be J.C. Cloney are about to embark on quite an adventure.

The teenagers will be pitching in Japan as part of the 2011 USA-Japan Friendship Series, June 19-23, in Tokyo and Osaka.

Only 18 players were chosen for the series.
Over the next week, Keller and Cloney will send us a diary that will run exclusively on
They will touch on various topics from both on and off the field.

Some of the players representing the U.S. were selected based off of playing at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

All are considered some of the best players in the country.

The boys take off for Japan early Thursday morning.

The following is Cloney's first diary entry.

He keeps it short and sweet.

June 15
Today my dad and I prepare to take a 12-hour plane flight to Haneda Airport in Japan, along with 17 other baseball players who were chosen by The Major League Baseball Compton Urban Youth Academy to participate in a tournament the Japanese and Americans have every year.

We have prepared for this trip for almost two months by practicing once or twice a week.
We will be playing in four games against the Tokyo and Osaka national team - two of them are in Tokyo and two in Osaka.

Along with playing against the Japanese, we will also be sightseeing and participating in ceremonies.
This trip will allow us to learn about the Japanese culture and how they play baseball.





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