Brandon Laird, before his time on the Ham Fighters (The Ham Fighters!)
© Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but the Japanese are clearly the ones who have perfected the sport because players in their top level Nippon Professional Baseball league can win massive amounts of beer with a single home run. That’s what happened to former Major Leaguer Brandon Laird whose newfound career in Japan is probably that much more palatable thanks to scoring a huge stockpile of Kirin.

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In a game against the Orix Buffaloes on Tuesday, Laird launched a home run that bounced off a Kirin beer sign in the left field bleachers. Not only did it extend the lead of his team the Ham Fighters (why the hell do we get so excited about a minor league team calling themselves the Steaks for one day when the Japanese professional league has the freakin’ Ham Fighters?!)  but the solo shot also earned him a $10,000 cash prize and a year’s supply of beer from the famous Japanese beer brand.

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“I think it’s pretty cool when they tell you if you hit the signs you get a prize like that,” said Laird, who said he’ll use the money towards a new house in Arizona, according to The Japan Times. “To actually do it in a game was pretty cool.” As for what he’d do with the beer? “Definitely not drink it,” he reportedly joked. “Maybe give some to the batting practice pitchers or whoever wants it.”

Ironically, though this game was played at the Tokyo Dome, the Ham Fighters (gotta love that name) typically play their home games at the Sapporo Dome, located in the birthplace of one of Japan’s other famous beer brands. Sounds like a potential beer beef to me.

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