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Web exclusive: The Keller/Cloney Japan Diaries, Part 10

Posted: June 24, 2011 3:28 p.m.
Updated: June 24, 2011 3:28 p.m.

The team toured the Kiyomizu-Dera Buddhist Temple in Osaka.

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

The teenagers are pitching in Japan as part of the 2011 USA-Japan Friendship Series from Sunday until Wednesday, in Tokyo and Osaka.

Only 18 players were chosen for the series.

Keller and Cloney are sending 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 following is Cloney's fourth diary entry.

June 24
Today is our last full day on this trip. We started by going to the Kiyomizu-Dera Buddhist Temple in Osaka. The Temple was built in 1633 and is located near the top of a mountain looking down over Osaka. While touring the temple, many of our group had middle school-age students approach us and ask us question as part of their studies of learning English. We have been told that all Japanese students take six years of English.

After the temple, we traveled to Koshien Stadium for the game between the Hanshin Tigers and the Tokyo Giants. None of our group had ever experienced a Japanese baseball game. The crowd sang songs and banged on plastic noise sticks from the first pitch to the end of the game. And during the middle of the seventh inning, unlike our seventh inning stretch, the Japanese blow up large balloons and then all at once let them fly into the air. This was a fun sight to see.

Tomorrow is our last day in Japan. We fly from Osaka to Tokyo and then home. We have had a great time both meeting the people of Japan and experiencing the different ways we do things. Our last diary note will be to share some of the different things we have noticed during our trip.



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