Spring training each February in Okinawa is the annual prelude to the start of the NPB season. Yet according to Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 2) it also is the beginning of a sport of an entirely different kind.
The tabloid applies the term “camp followers” to predatory women who travel to the southern chain of islands for the purpose of seducing pro baseball players. They are apparently not ravishing beauties, but rather fairly ordinary types who at first glance appear to be vacationing office ladies.
Hanging out at a roadside snack establishments that can be commonly found in Okinawa’s rural towns, they spot players and set themselves up for seduction. One dependable technique is to reach over and grope the man’s groin while the two share a taxi.
Once the player falls into their trap, they will approach a team representative and demand several million yen to keep the scandal out of the sports tabloids. In many cases though, they are persuaded to settle for half a million yen in hush money.
Nikkan Gendai reports that players are regularly warned against such females at team meetings, but each season at least two or three are entrapped. Apparently the combination of money, physical conditioning and male libido is potent enough to make baseball jocks easy targets for such seductions.