Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース) is a professional baseball team in Japan's Central League. Hanshin (はんしん) is an industrial region in Japan; its name comes from the kanji used to write the names of Ōsaka (大阪) and Kōbe (神戸), the two largest cities in the said region. The Hanshin Electric Railway owns the Tigers.
- Founded: 1936
- Formerly known as: Ōsaka Tigers (1936–1940), Hanshin (1940–1946), Ōsaka Tigers (1947–1960), Hanshin Tigers (1961– )
- Home ballpark: Kōshien Stadium
- Uniform colors: White, black and yellow
- Logo design: A tiger's head on a red disk outlined in black, on the outline, it reads "Hanshin Tigers"
- League championships won (4): 1962, 1964, 1985, 2003
- Japan Series championships won (1): 1985
History of the Hanshin Tigers
The Hanshin Tigers, one of the oldest professional clubs in Japan, was founded in 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 came 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 four times (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003) and the Japan Series once (1985).
The home field, Kōshien Stadium, is used by high school baseball teams from all over Japan for play in the national championship tournaments in spring and summer.
Famous players in Hanshin Tigers history include Randy Bass , Masayuki Kakefu , Minoru Murayama , Jeff Williams, and many others.
Curse of the Colonel
As with many other baseball teams, a curse is believed to lurk over the Tigers. After their 1985 Japan Series win, fans celebrated by having people who looked like Tigers players jump into the Dotonbori River. 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). The statue was never recovered. The Tigers are therefore doomed to never win again until the Colonel is rescued from the river.
In 2003, when the Tigers returned to the Japan Series after 18 years with one of the worst records 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 Tiger fans.
Players of note
- Norihiro Akahoshi (official homepage)
- Shinobu Fukuhara
- Kei Igawa (official homepage)
- Makoto Imaoka (team profile)
- Tomoaki Kanemoto (official homepage)
- Andy Sheets
- Shane Spencer
- Taiyo (Taiyo Fujita, team profile)
- Takashi Toritani
- Jeff Williams (team profile)
- Akihiro Yano (team profile)
- Randy Bass
- Yutaka Enatsu
- Cecil Fielder
- Fumio Fujimura
- Taira Fujita
- Shosei Go
- Masaru Kageura
- Masayuki Kakefu
- Masaaki Koyama
- Kenjiro Matsuki
- Minoru Murayama
- Akinobu Okada
- Thomas O'Malley
- Koichi Tabuchi
- Tadashi Wakabayashi
- Hiroshi Yagi
- Yoshio Yoshida
- 10 Fumio Fujimura
- 11 Minoru Murayama
- 23 Yoshio Yoshida
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