The Lycaon’s baseball team are looking for a player who can give them an edge in the championship when two members encounter an incredible pitcher.
Kojima Hiromichi is a famous batter for professional Japanese baseball team, the Lycaons. But in his 20 year career, he has never been able to win the Championship title and has thus been dubbed ‘The Unlucky Batting Prodigy’.
In December 1998, Kojima brings two minor-leaguers, Kinosaki and Nakane, to set up a mini-training camp in Okinawa to scout for players. Kojmia tells the two that he isn’t unlucky, it's just the team lacks ‘that definitive something’ needed to win; he's hoping to find it through this training camp.
When the pitcher, Nakane, hurts a ligament in his finger during a practice session, Kojima tells him to forget batting practice and go to a hospital. In private, trainer Kinosaki tells Nakane he knows he didn’t hurt his finger during the warm up, and Nakane admits he hurt it the previous night during a bar fight. Kinosaki gets angry with him as this season is Kojima’s last chance to try and win the championship before retirement, and insists the two of them look for a replacement pitcher for Kojima’s sake.
Having exhausted all high school and semi-pro teams, the two run into a foreign woman who tells them there’s a place nearby where American soldiers stationed in Japan gather to play baseball. When they get there, the pair observe and see people aren’t playing baseball but taking it in turns to pitch and bat. The woman explains to them that they’re playing a game called 'One Outs', where the the batter must simply hit the ball to the outfield in order to win; if the batter is struck out or the ball lands in the infield, the pitcher wins. Nakane and Kinosaki realise it’s actually a gambling ring.
The next pitcher to come on is Japanese. Kinosaki feels a strange sensation, which he describes as a ‘premonition', come over him when he sees the pitcher. The woman encourages Nakane and Kinosaki to bet. The two decide to bet once to satisfy her, after which they'll leave. To Kinosaki's surprise, Nakene calls ‘1000 on the batter’ instead of betting on the pitcher, but the woman tells him he has a good eye and that the batter used to be a clean up hitter for his state team.
The pitcher throws a simple fastball, at a speed of around only 130km/h, and Kinosaki agrees betting on the batter was the right choice. However, the batter misses the ball completely each pitch, meaning Kinosaki and Nakane lose. Before Kinosaki can pay, Nakene suddenly bets another thousand on the next batter, convinced the pitcher is nothing special and his win was a fluke.
The pitcher strikes the next batter out as well, and Nakene doubles his bet to 2000 on the batter after. The pitcher wins for a third time. Nakene is about to up his bet to 4000 before Kinosaki stops him, suspecting they’ve been scammed and the batters are losing on purpose. They hand over 4000 yen to the woman, but she laughs and tells them they’re betting in dollars.
Nakene picks up the bat himself, and bets the 4000 dollars they just lost, but the pitcher declines the challenge. Nakene says this proves it’s a scam, but the pitcher says 4000 dollars is too little and wants to increase the bet to 40,000 dollars. He notices that Nakene has an injury and gives himself a handicap. If Nakene can even graze the pitch with his bat, he wins. Kinosaki realises his premonition was correct and there’s something special about the pitcher.
- Kojima Hiromichi
- Big Mama
- Tokuchi Toua