Hanshin Tigers

Hanshin Tigers
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
League

Nippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)

Ballpark Koshien Stadium (1936–present)
Year established 1935 (1935)
Nickname(s)
  • Tora (トラ, tigers)
  • Mōko (猛虎, fierce tigers)
Japanese Baseball League titles 4 (Fall 1937, Spring 1938, 1944, 1947)
Central League pennants 5 (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005, 2014)
Japan Series championships 1 (1985)
Former name(s)
  • Osaka Tigers (1935–1940)
  • Hanshin B.C. (1940–1944)
  • Osaka Tigers (1946–1960)
  • Hanshin Tigers (1961–present)
Former league(s) Japanese Baseball League (1936-1949)
Colors Yellow, Black, White
              
Retired numbers 10, 11, 23
Ownership Hanshin Electric Railway Co.
Manager Tomoaki Kanemoto
Uniforms
HANSHIN Tigers Co., Ltd.
株式会社阪神タイガース
Kabushiki gaisha
Founded Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan (December 10, 1935 (1935-12-10), Osaka Baseball Club Co.)
Headquarters 2-33, Koshiencho, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
Parent Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
Website hanshintigers.jp
Footnotes / references
renamed "Hanshin Tigers Co., Ltd." in 1961

The Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース, Hanshin Taigāsu) are a Nippon Professional Baseball team playing in the Central League. The team is based in Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, and are owned by Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc.

The Hanshin Tigers are one of the oldest professional clubs in Japan. They played their first season in 1936 as the Osaka Tigers and assumed their current team name in 1961.

History

The Hanshin Tigers, one of the oldest professional clubs in Japan, were founded on December 10, 1935 with the team being formed in 1936. The team was first called "the Ōsaka Tigers". In 1940, amid anti-foreign sentiment, the Tigers changed the name to "Hanshin" and in 1947 changed the name back to "Ōsaka Tigers". The current team name was assumed in 1961.

The Tigers won four titles before the establishment of the two league system in 1950. Since the league was split into the Central League and the Pacific League, the Tigers have won the Central League pennant five times (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005) and the Japan Series once (1985).

When the 2004 Major League Baseball season opened in Japan, the Tigers played an exhibition game against the New York Yankees at the Tokyo Dome on March 29. The Tigers won 11-7.

In each of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, more than three million people attended games hosted by the Tigers. The Tigers were the only one of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams to achieve this.

On January 31, 2007, the Tigers presented uniforms for the 2007 season. For the home uniforms, yellow, one of the colors of the team, was used again.

The home field, Koshien Stadium, is used by high school baseball teams from all over Japan for play in the national championship tournaments in spring and summer. The summer tournament takes place in the middle of the Tigers' season, forcing the Tigers to go on an annual three-week road trip to allow the tournament to be played.

Famous players in Hanshin Tigers history include Fumio Fujimura, Masaru Kageura, Minoru Murayama, Yutaka Enatsu, Masayuki Kakefu, Randy Bass and many others.

Koshien Stadium

The home field of the Tigers, Hanshin Koshien Stadium, is one of three major natural grass baseball stadiums in Japan. The others are the Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima (Hiroshima Toyo Carp), and Hotto Motto Field Kobe (part-time home of the Orix Buffaloes). Of the three, only Koshien has an all-dirt infield (the other two have an American-style infield). There are numerous smaller grass field ballparks around the country; Japanese baseball teams frequently play games in small cities so that local fans can see more of their heroes.

Koshien Stadium is the oldest ballpark in Japan; built in 1924, the stadium was once visited by American baseball legend Babe Ruth on a tour of Major League stars in 1934.[1] There is a monument commemorating this visit within the stadium grounds, in an area called Mizuno Square.

Koshien is revered as a "sacred" ballpark, and players traditionally bow before entering and before leaving its hallowed field. The losing team in any high school baseball game played at the ballpark is allowed to scoop up handfuls of Koshien infield dirt, stuffing holy soil into their cleat bags as hordes of Japanese media snap photos at arm's length.

Curse of the Colonel

As with many other underachieving baseball teams, a curse is believed to lurk over the Tigers.[2] After their 1985 Japan Series win, fans celebrated by having people who looked like Tigers players jump into the Dotonbori Canal. According to legend, because none of the fans resembled first baseman Randy Bass, fans grabbed a life-sized statue of Kentucky Fried Chicken mascot Colonel Sanders and threw it into the river (like Bass, the Colonel had a beard and was not Japanese). After many seasons without a pennant win, the Tigers were said to be doomed never to win the season again until the Colonel was rescued from the river.

In 2003, when the Tigers returned to the Japan Series after 18 years with the best record in the Central League, many KFC outlets in Kōbe and Ōsaka moved their Colonel Sanders statues inside until the series was over to protect them from Tigers fans.

The top half of the statue (excluding its left hand) was finally recovered on March 10, 2009, and the bottom half and right hand shortly after, in the canal by construction workers while constructing a new boardwalk area as part of a beautification project. The statue is still missing its left hand and glasses. The KFC outlet where this statue once stood has since closed; the statue is now at the KFC headquarters in Yokohama. It is not viewable by the public; only employees and special guests are permitted to gaze into the rescued Colonel's eyes. Since then, the Hanshin Tigers made the 2014 Japan Series, but lost to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in 5 games.

Fandom

Tigers fans are known as perhaps the most fanatical and dedicated fans in all of Japanese professional baseball. They often outnumber the home team fans at Tigers "away" games. Tigers fans also once had a reputation for rough behavior and a willingness to brawl with other fans or with each other, although fights are rare these days. A famous Tigers fan tradition (done by other teams of NPB as well) is the release, by the fans, of hundreds of air-filled balloons immediately following the seventh inning stretch and the singing of the Tigers' fight song. This tradition is carried-out at all home and away games, except at games against the Yomiuri Giants in the Tokyo Dome due to the Giants' notoriously authoritarian and heavy-handed rules for controlling behavior by visiting fans.

The Tigers-Giants rivalry is considered the national Japanese rivalry, on par with the San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers and the Yankees–Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball or Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona in Spanish football.

"The Hanshin Tigers' Song (阪神タイガースの歌, Hanshin Tigers no Uta)", as known as "Rokko Oroshi (六甲颪, 六甲おろし, lit. The (Downward) Wind of Mount Rokko)", lyrics by Sonosuke Sato (佐藤 惣之助) and composed by Yuji Koseki (古関 裕而), is a popular song in the Kansai area. In Japan, wind which blows down from a mountain is known to be cold and harsh, hence the song symbolizes the Tiger's brave challenge under hardship. The song can even be found on karaoke boxes.

阪神タイガースの歌 (六甲颪, kanji)

六甲颪 (ろっこうおろし)に颯爽 (さっそう)と
蒼天 (そうてん)翔 (か)ける日輪 (にちりん)の
青春の覇気 美 (うるわ)しく
輝く我が名ぞ 阪神タイガース
オウ オウ オウオウ 阪神タイガース
フレフレフレフレ

闘志 (とうし)溌剌 (はつらつ) 起 (た)つや今
熱血 既 (すで)に敵を衝 (つ)く
獣王の意気高らかに
無敵の我等ぞ 阪神タイガース
オウ オウ オウオウ 阪神タイガース
フレフレフレフレ

鉄腕強打幾千 (いくち)度 (た)び
鍛えてここに 甲子園
勝利に燃ゆる栄冠は
輝く我等ぞ 阪神タイガース
オウ オウ オウオウ 阪神タイガース
フレフレフレフレ

Hanshin Tigers no Uta (Rokko Oroshi, romaji)

Rokkō oroshi ni sassō to
Sōten kakeru nichirin no
Seishun no haki uruwashiku
Kagayaku wagana zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers
Fure-fure-fure-fure

Tōshi hatsuratsu tatsu ya ima
Nekketsu sude ni teki o tsuku
Jūō no iki takaraka ni
Muteki no warera zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers
Fure-fure-fure-fure

Tetsuwan kyōda ikuchitabi
Kitaete koko ni Kōshien
Shōri ni moyuru eikan wa
Kagayaku warera zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers
Fure-fure-fure-fure

The Hanshin Tigers' Song (The Wind of Mount Rokko)
(An official English version, not a direct translation)

Dashing swiftly through the wind blowin' from Rokko
Like the big sun soaring in the clear blue sky
Mighty spirit of the youth shows the victor's grace
The name that shines in glory "Hanshin Tigers"
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Hanshin Tigers
Go, Go, Go, Go!

Powerful hits and skillful pitch achieved a thousand times
Trained with every discipline here at Koshien
Crowned with constant victory glorious, matchless feat
Always proud, invincible "Hanshin Tigers"
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Hanshin Tigers
Go, Go, Go, Go!

Season-by-season

From the Kosaido Publishing Co., Ltd. (株式会社廣済堂出版, Kabushikigaisha Kōsaidō Shuppan) guidebook.

Season Place Manager
Former Japanese Baseball League
1936 Spring: Did not place
Summer: Did not place
Autumn: 2nd
Shigeo Mori (森 茂雄, spring, summer)
→ Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一, autumn)
1937 Spring: 2nd
Autumn: 1st (League Champion)
Annual League Champion
Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一)
1938 Spring: 1st (League Champion)
Autumn: 2nd
Annual League Champion
Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一)
1939 2nd Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一)
1940 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1941 5th Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1942 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
1943 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
1944 1st (League Champion) Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
1945 No league play
1946 3rd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男)
1947 1st (League Champion) Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
1948 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
1949 6th Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志)
In the Central League
1950 4th Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1951 3rd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1952 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1953 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1954 3rd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎)
1955 3rd Ichiro Kishi (岸 一郎)
Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男)
1956 2nd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男)
1957 2nd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男)
1958 2nd Yoshio Tanaka (田中 義雄)
1959 2nd Yoshio Tanaka (田中 義雄)
1960 3rd Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰)
1961 4th Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰)
Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1962 1st (League Champion) Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1963 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1964 1st (League Champion) Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1965 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1966 3rd Shigeru Sugishita (杉下 茂)
Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1967 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1968 2nd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義)
1969 2nd Tsuguo Goto (後藤 次男)
1970 2nd Minoru Murayama (村山 実)
1971 5th Minoru Murayama (村山 実)
1972 2nd Minoru Murayama (村山 実, - April 21)
Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰, April 22 -)
1973 2nd Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰)
1974 4th Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰)
1975 3rd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1976 2nd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1977 4th Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1978 6th (last place) Tsuguo Goto (後藤 次男)
1979 4th Don Blasingame (Don Blazer)
1980 5th Don Blasingame (Don Blazer)
Futoshi Nakanishi (中西 太)
1981 3rd Futoshi Nakanishi (中西 太)
1982 3rd Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男)
Takao Sato (佐藤 孝夫, June 13 - June 15)
1983 4th Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男)
1984 4th Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男)
1985 1st (League Champion)
Japan Series Champion
Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1986 3rd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1987 6th (last place) Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1988 6th (last place) Minoru Murayama (村山 実)
1989 5th Minoru Murayama (村山 実)
1990 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広)
1991 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広)
1992 2nd Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広)
1993 4th Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広)
1994 4th Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広)
1995 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広, - July 23)
→ Taira Fujita (藤田 平, July 24 -)
1996 6th (last place) Taira Fujita (藤田 平, - September 11)
→ Takeshi Shibata (柴田 猛, September 12 -)
1997 5th Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1998 6th (last place) Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男)
1999 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也)
2000 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也)
2001 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也)
2002 4th Senichi Hoshino (星野 仙一)
2003 1st (League Champion) Senichi Hoshino (星野 仙一)
2004 4th Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布)
2005 1st (League Champion) Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布)
2006 2nd Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布)
2007 3rd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布)
2008 2nd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布)
2009 4th Akinobu Mayumi (真弓 明信)
2010 2nd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Akinobu Mayumi (真弓 明信)
2011 4th Akinobu Mayumi (真弓 明信)
2012 5th Yutaka Wada (和田 豊)
2013 2nd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Yutaka Wada (和田 豊)
2014 2nd (Advanced to the Japan Series) Yutaka Wada (和田 豊)
2015 3rd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Yutaka Wada (和田 豊)
2016 4th Tomoaki Kanemoto (金本 知憲)
2017 2nd (Advanced to the Climax Series) Tomoaki Kanemoto (金本 知憲)

Regular season records

Osaka Tigers (Japanese Baseball League)
YearManagerGamesWinsLossesTiesPct.GBPlace
1936 - Spring/Summer SeasonShigeo Mori15960.600N/A(1 tournament won)
1936 - Fall SeasonShuichi Ishimoto312461.774N/ARunners-up (2.5 tournaments won)
1937 - Spring SeasonShuichi Ishimoto5641141.7410.52nd (out of 8)
1937 - Fall SeasonShuichi Ishimoto493991.806-.-1st (out of 8)
1938 - Spring SeasonShuichi Ishimoto352960.829-.-1st (out of 8)
1938 - Fall SeasonShuichi Ishimoto4027130.6753.52nd (out of 9)
1939Shuichi Ishimoto9663303.6723.52nd (out of 9)
Hanshin (Japanese Baseball League)
YearManagerGamesWinsLossesTiesPct.GBPlace
1940Kenjiro Matsuki10464373.63010.52nd (out of 9)
1941Kenjiro Matsuki8441430.48821.05th (out of 8)
1942Tadashi Wakabayashi10552485.51921.03rd (out of 8)
1943Tadashi Wakabayashi8441367.53011.03rd (out of 8)
1944Tadashi Wakabayashi352762.800-.-1st (out of 6)
1946Fumio Fujimura10559460.5627.03rd (out of 8)
Osaka Tigers (Japanese Baseball League)
YearManagerGamesWinsLossesTiesPct.GBPlace
1947Tadashi Wakabayashi11979373.676-.-1st (out of 8)
1948Tadashi Wakabayashi14070664.51417.03rd (out of 8)
1949Tadashi Wakabayashi13765693.48520.56th (out of 8)
Osaka Tigers
YearManagerGamesWinsLossesTiesPct.GBPlace
1950Kenjiro Matsuki14070673.51130.04th
1951Kenjiro Matsuki11661523.53920.53rd
1952Kenjiro Matsuki12079401.6633.52nd
1953Kenjiro Matsuki13074560.56916.02nd
1954Kenjiro Matsuki13071572.55416.03rd
1955Ichiro Kishi (Interim: Fumio Fujimura)13071572.55420.53rd
1956Fumio Fujimura13079501.6124.52nd
1957Fumio Fujimura13073543.5731.02nd
1958Yoshio Tanaka13072580.5545.52nd
1959Yoshio Tanaka13062599.51213.02nd
1960Masayasu Kaneda13064624.5086.03rd
Hanshin Tigers
YearManagerGamesWinsLossesTiesPct.GBPlace
1961Masayasu Kaneda (Interim: Sadayoshi Fujimoto)13060673.47312.54th
1962Sadayoshi Fujimoto13375553.575-.-1st
1963Sadayoshi Fujimoto14069701.49614.53rd
1964Sadayoshi Fujimoto14080564.586-.-1st
1965Sadayoshi Fujimoto14071663.51819.53rd
1966Shigeru Sugishita (Interim: Sadayoshi Fujimoto)13564665.49325.03rd
1967Sadayoshi Fujimoto13670606.53714.03rd
1968Sadayoshi Fujimoto13372583.5535.02nd
1969Tsuguo Goto13068593.5356.52nd
1970Minoru Murayama13077494.6082.02nd
1971Minoru Murayama13057649.47312.55th
1972Minoru Murayama (Interim: Masayasu Kaneda)13071563.5583.52nd
1973Masayasu Kaneda13064597.5190.52nd
1974Masayasu Kaneda13057649.47314.04th
1975Yoshio Yoshida13068557.5506.03rd
1976Yoshio Yoshida130724513.6042.02nd
1977Yoshio Yoshida130556312.46921.04th
1978Tsuguo Goto13041809.35030.56th (last)
1979Don Blasingame13061609.5048.04th
1980Don Blasingame (Interim: Futoshi Nakanishi)130546610.45420.55th
1981Futoshi Nakanishi13067585.5358.03rd
1982Motoo Andoh (Interim: Takao Sato)13065578.5314.53rd
1983Motoo Andoh13062635.49611.54th
1984Motoo Andoh13053698.43823.04th
1985Yoshio Yoshida13074497.596-.-1st - Won Japan Series
1986Yoshio Yoshida130606010.50013.53rd
1987Yoshio Yoshida13041836.33837.56th (last)
1988Minoru Murayama13051772.40029.56th (last)
1989Minoru Murayama13054751.41930.55th
1990Katsuhiro Nakamura13052780.40036.06th (last)
1991Katsuhiro Nakamura13048820.36926.06th (last)
1992Katsuhiro Nakamura13267632.5152.02nd/3rd (tied)
1993Katsuhiro Nakamura13263672.48517.04th
1994Katsuhiro Nakamura13062680.4778.04th/5th (tied)
1995Katsuhiro Nakamura (Interim: Taira Fujita)13046840.35436.06th (last)
1996Taira Fujita (Interim: Takeshi Shibata)13054760.41523.06th (last)
1997Yoshio Yoshida13662731.46021.05th
1998Yoshio Yoshida13552830.38527.06th (last)
1999Katsuya Nomura13555800.40726.06th (last)
2000Katsuya Nomura13657781.42321.06th (last)
2001Katsuya Nomura14057803.41820.56th (last)
2002Senichi Hoshino14066704.48619.04th
2003Senichi Hoshino14087512.629-.-1st
2004Akinobu Okada13866702.48513.04th
2005Akinobu Okada14687545.617-.-1st
2006Akinobu Okada14684584.5923.52nd
2007Akinobu Okada14474664.5294.53rd
2008Akinobu Okada14482593.5822.02nd
2009Akinobu Mayumi14467734.47924.54th
2010Akinobu Mayumi14478633.5531.02nd
2011Akinobu Mayumi14468706.4939.04th
2012Yutaka Wada144557514.42331.55th
2013Yutaka Wada14473674.52112.52nd
2014Yutaka Wada14475681.5247.02nd
2015
Yutaka Wada14370712.4966.03rd
2016
Tomoaki Kanemoto14364763.45724.54th
2017
Tomoaki Kanemoto14378614.56110.02nd

NOTE: The 1944 Japanese Baseball League season was cut-short and the 1945 season was cancelled due to the ongoing war (World War II) with many players being enlisted to fight.

List of managers

Name Term Regular Season
GC W L T Win%
Osaka Tigers and Hanshin Tigers
Shigeo Mori 1936 (Spring - Summer) 15 9 6 0 .600
Shuichi Ishimoto 1936 (Fall)-1939 307 223 78 6 .736
Kenjiro Matsuki 1940–1941 & 1950-1954 824 460 352 12 .565
Tadashi Wakabayashi 1942–1944 & 1947-1949 620 334 262 24 .558
Fumio Fujimura 1946 & 1956-1957 365 211 150 4 .584
Ichiro Kishi 1955 130 71 57 2 .554
Yoshio Tanaka 1958-1959 260 134 117 9 .533
Masayasu Kaneda 1960–1961 & 1973-1974 520 245 252 23 .493
Sadayoshi Fujimoto 1962–1965 & 1967-1968 822 437 365 20 .544
Shigeru Sugishita 1966 135 64 66 5 .493
Tsuguo Goto 1969 & 1978 260 109 139 12 .442
Minoru Murayama 1970–1972 & 1988-1989 650 310 321 19 .491
Yoshio Yoshida 1975-1977, 1985–1987 & 1997-1998 1051 484 511 56 .487
Don Blasingame 1979-1980 260 115 126 19 .479
Futoshi Nakanishi 1981 130 67 58 5 .535
Motoo Andoh 1982-1984 390 180 189 21 .488
Katsuhiro Nakamura 1990-1995 784 338 442 4 .434
Taira Fujita 1996 130 54 76 0 .415
Katsuya Nomura 1999–2001 411 169 238 4 .416
Senichi Hoshino 2002–2003 280 153 121 6 .557
Akinobu Okada 2004–2008 723 393 307 23 .559
Akinobu Mayumi 2009–2011 432 213 206 13 .508
Yutaka Wada 2012–2015 575 273 281 21 .493
Tomoaki Kanemoto 2016–present 286 142 137 7 .509

Players of note

Current players

Former players

Retired numbers

MLB Players

Media relating to the Tigers

Mascots

Newspapers

Stations

(Broadcasting):

See also

References

  1. Kelly, William W. (2004). "Sense and Sensibility at the Ballpark: What Fans Make of Professional Baseball in Modern Japan". In Kelly, William W. Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan. State University of New York Press. pp. 79–106. ISBN 9780791485385.
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