The Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is an adult amateur baseball team based in Fukuoka. The team has practice weekly, though not all members are able to make it to every practice due to their varying schedules. They rent out a large public stadium for games. As the Ramens have barely enough players to form a complete team, umpires for their games are supplied by their opponents.
- Genzo Gohda: #89, coach
- Kazuki Saitoh: #18, pitcher
- Hironobu Shigematsu: #27, catcher
- José Martínez: #42, first baseman
- Zenji Banba: #2, second baseman
- Xianming Lin: #6, shortstop
- Shinichi Saeki: #25, third baseman
- Yamato: #7, right fielder
- Enokida: #24, center fielder
- Jiro Tanaka: #51, left fielder
- Misaki Tanaka: cheerleader
The team's uniform is baby pink, the front of their shirts displaying the word TONKOTSU in gothic lettering with a silhouette of a pig. On the back are the players' names in Roman characters with their numbers, and their hats are baby pink with the letter R for Ramens. Both Saitoh and Lin note that the design is remarkably uncool.
Mayor Harada Scandal ArcEdit
While buying assassination supplies in a convenience store, Saitoh spots a recruitment poster for the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens baseball team, which is looking for a pitcher and a shortstop. Saitoh equates this to a band lacking a singer and a guitar player, and the laughter from imagining how they manage to play lightens his mood.
When Saitoh later grabs a signed baseball on display in Yusuke Harada's apartment and incapacitates him with it, protecting Lin and Banba, Banba and Jiro are amazed by his throw and excitedly invite him to join their team. Although he has sworn against playing baseball again, he promises to think it over. He finds another poster in the waiting room of Saeki's Cosmetic Surgery Clinic. The shortstop position has been struck out, meaning that are still in need of only one player. With his new face and a new chance at life, Saitoh decides to join the team and try pitching again.
The team has a practice game the following week. Banba drags a resisting Lin to the stadium, where he and Saitoh meet their new coach and the rest of their teammates. As the Ramens take the field in defense, Lin loudly remarks that he knows none of the rules of baseball. Banba instructs him to catch the ball and throw it to first, and when Lin follows his orders on the first hit ball, feeling proud of himself, Banba is furious that he did not throw to second and make a double play. Despite the initial setback, the Ramens put up a solid defense and a brilliant offense, with most players making it onto base, including Lin, who carries the bat with him. With the score at 4-0, Saitoh is the last player to bat, and the opposing team's pitcher strikes him in the head. When Jiro apologizes and he spots Misaki smiling from the benches, Saitoh recognizes the pitcher's face as the player he had injured in his high school days. After the man exacts revenge on him, Saitoh loses his fear of injuring others and rediscovers his love for the sport.
Niwaka Samurai Impersonator ArcEdit
While Saitoh is able to play baseball again, he still shows fear when a ball is pitched high and unconsciously dodges, a habit other teams are quick to note. During a practice game in late June, he becomes quickly exhausted pitching in the heat, and Lin makes mistake after mistake, prolonging the inning. Banba eventually loses his temper with him and the two begin to fight on the field, with Martínez having to step in and break it up. While the rest of their teammates are glad to see that Lin, who had once hated to be there, is starting to take baseball seriously, Banba continues to criticize Lin's plays and offer advice until Lin strikes back, and Jiro and Shigematsu have to again break them apart. The massive point difference brings down the spirits of the team, until Genzo suggest a punishment game for the player with the fewest base hits. Cleanup batters and runners like Martínez and Enokida support the idea, while bunters like Yamato oppose it. Lin starts with a penalty for his mistakes on defense, but he bats spectacularly. No one is keen to lose the punishment game, and at the end of a strong offense, Genzo pinch-hits for the worn-out Saitoh and hits a home run that wins the game.
Due to losing the punishment game, Lin has to cover the food and drink expenses for all eleven members at the next team get-together, a rally for the upcoming primaries. In between yelling at Banba for ordering too much food and getting drunk, Lin discusses the assassination of Long Fang Wang with Enokida and Shigematsu. Though nearly everyone has a good time, in the corner, Saitoh worries about the next attempt by Murder, Inc. on his life.
Shou Wang ArcEdit
The team has their weekly practice on a Sunday at the end of July, though only a handful of players can make it. Running in lines of two under the hot sun brings up unpleasant memories from Lin's past, but he notices and keeps to himself that he is beginning to understand and enjoy playing the sport. Genzo adjusts the day's practice to account for the brutally hot weather and the number of players present, and after several drills, they decide to teach Lin the team's signs. Lin practices stealing second, but he hesitates when Enokida misses the ball. Banba advises Lin to blindly run while trusting in his teammates, contradicting all of Lin's life lessons up until that point.
The Ramens go out to dinner at a yakiniku restaurant in Nakasu. Martínez covers the bill, and he, Saitoh, Lin, and Banba give Enokida a hard time for the trouble lately.
The team buys a child-sized uniform for Misaki, who has recently made the boys' baseball team at school. As Lin teases her on her throwing, she states her goal of stealing his position and playing for the Ramens someday.