Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Angels in the Outfield

It was the early morning hours of a warm Thursday in September 2007, and parts of the DR staff found ourselves smoking outside of Dirty Franks when we were approached by a diminutive Japanese tourist demanding to know the way to Citizens Bank Park. He'd recently arrived from the town of Yokohama, bearing a small backpack, very few words of English, and an inscrutable love for the Phillies. And thus the saga of Kaoru Obuchi was born.

Kaoru proceeded to crash on the couch at 206 S. 3rd street and would later accompany myself, phyllismag and Chief Naka to watch in horror as Kaz Matsui singlehandedly crushed the Phillies world series dreams. None of that bothered Kaoru, however. He had traveled halfway around the world to cheer on the Phils, and despite our being down 10 or so runs, his screams of "PHIRRIES!!!!! NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!" could be heard echoing around the stadium even as the home crowd streamed for the exits in a Smarty Jonesian attitude of defeat.

A day later I received a phone call from what sounded like a large black gentleman.

"Yo, this eldiablogrande?"
"You know some little Japanese dude?"
"Ummm, sure."
"Yeah, he wanna talk to you"

At which point Kaoru Obuchi, who only 48 hours earlier been probably minutes from robbery, probable sodomy, and possible death as he wandered cluelessly through the mean streets of Philly, detailed his plan to leave the city of brotherly love in order to fly to Colorado and cheer on his beloved Phils.

Upon which point Kaoru Obuchi vanished from my life, presumably forever, leaving nothing but an email address and the vague feeling of having been visited by some extra-terrestrial, possibly supernatural being.

Until today, when I received possibly the best email of all time:

Hello Sam!

My name is Kaoru Obuchi who is one of Phillies' fan. Last year, you helped me very much and I'm so sorry that I respond too late your E-mail.

Unfortunately, I couldn't go to Colorado, but I could go back to Yokohama. I look foward to go to Citizens Bank Park again someday, and meet you.

May Phillies advance to the playoffs again this year!

Do they have email in heaven? I don't know the answer to that question, but as the Phightins begin their second half campaign, I do know that the greatest Phillies fan of all time is watching over them. May the Phillies advance to the playoffs indeed!


  1. For anyone who doesn't believe this happened, or in any way questions the existence of Kaoru Obuchi, I'm here to say it happened, he's real, and the full story should be made into a fucking movie.


    Dude is real and I will never forget his late inning chants for short-tenured Phillie (and presumably our mans favorite player) Tadahito Iguchi. It wasn't enough to bring the Phils back that day, but it certainly raised my spirits.


  3. Incredible story. I will get started on the screenplay.

    I nominate Kaoru honary Itoto of the DR.