Yokohama BayStars

Yokohama BayStars

Infobox baseball team
Name = Yokohama Baystars

Founded = 1950
League = Central League
Location = Yokohama
Stadium = Yokohama Stadium
Nickname = "Yokohama" (横浜), "BayStars" (ベイスターズ), "Bay" (ベイ)
Colors = Blue and white
LogoDesign =
FormerNames= Taiyō Whales (1950–1952, 1955–1977), Shochiku Robins (1950–1952), Taiyō-Shochiku Robins (1953–1955), Yokohama Taiyō Whales (1978–1992)
LeagueChamps= 1960, 1998
Series =Japan Series
SeriesChamps=1960, 1998



The Nihongo|Yokohama BayStars|横浜ベイスターズ|Yokohama Beisutāzu are a professional baseball team in the Japanese Central League. Home field is the Yokohama Stadium, located in central Yokohama. The clubhouse is located near the stadium.

The team mascot is Hossy, the character with the star-shaped head seen on the team logo.

The minor league team is named, the Shonan Searex, and plays in the Eastern League. The minor league home field is Yokosuka Stadium, located in Yokosuka, Kanagawa.

The team's name has changed from: Nihongo|Taiyō Whales|大洋ホエールズ|Taiyō Hoeeruzu (1950-1952), Nihongo|Taiyō-Shochiku Robins|大洋松竹ロビンス|Taiyō Shōchiku Robinsu (1953), Nihongo|Yō-Shō Robins|洋松ロビンス|Yō-Shō Robinsu (1954), Nihongo|Taiyō Whales|大洋ホエールズ|Taiyō Hoeeruzu (1955-1977), Nihongo|Yokohama Taiyō Whales|横浜大洋ホエールズ|Yokohama Taiyō Hoeeruzu (1978-1992) to the current name, Yokohama BayStars, adopted in 1993.


Origin (1930s-1949)

The team originated from the amateur team of the Taiyo Fishing Company (current Maruha Corporation). The amateur team began to appear in national tournaments in the 1930s, and won the National Sports Festival in 1948 to obtain national recognition. In the 1949 off-season, the Japanese professional baseball league drastically expanded itself, and many players from the Taiyo amateur team were recruited to join the professional leagues. The owner of the Taiyo company decided to enter the amateur team into the newly expanded Central League, which was established in 1950. The team officially became professional as the Maruha Team, and the franchise was based in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.

Taiyo Whales (1950-1952)

The team name was changed to Taiyo Whales, shortly after the start of the 1950 season. The Whales received several veteran players from the Yomiuri Giants to compensate for their lack of players, but ended up in the bottom half of the standings each year.

In 1951, there was talk of merging with the Hiroshima Carp, which had experienced serious financial problems. Thankfully, the merging never occurred due to massive protests from Hiroshima citizens.

Taiyo Shochiku Robins (1953) and Yo-Sho Robins (1954)

In 1952, it was decided that teams ending the season with a winning percentage below .300 would be disbanded or merged with other teams. The Shochiku Robins fell into this category, and were merged with the Taiyo Whales to become the Taiyo Shochiku Robins in January, 1953. However, the team's re-organization was not completed in time for the 1953 season, and the team ended up continuing its offices in both Shimonoseki and Kyoto. Home games took place in Osaka for geographical reasons, and the team's finances were managed by both the Taiyo and Shochiku companies until the franchise was officially transferred to Osaka in 1954 to become the Yō-Shō Robins.

The Shochiku Robins had won the 1950 Central League championship before being merged.

Taiyo Whales (1955-1977)

The Shochiku company discontinued its support in December, 1954, and the team name returned to Taiyo Whales. The franchise moved to Kawasaki, Kanagawa, and obtained an exclusive home field (Kawasaki Stadium), but ended up in last place six years in a row from 1954-1959.

In 1960, the team recruited Osamu Mihara, who had been manager of the Nishitetsu Lions the previous year. Mihara led the team to its first pennant in 1960, and swept the Pacific League champions in the Japanese championship series. The team had been in last place the previous year.

However, this success did not last long, and the team quickly fell back into last place in 1961. The Whales made a comeback in 1962, but trailed four games behind the Hanshin Tigers to end up in second place. They lost the league championship again to the Tigers in 1964, only 1 game (.008 winning percentage) away from first place.

The team produced countless star players during the 1970s, but rarely ended the season above the .500 mark. The small Kawasaki Stadium made the Whales one of the most offensively productive teams in Japanese baseball history, but a weak pitching staff, and lack of financial support put the team out of serious contention.

By 1976, the team had been planning on moving from Kawasaki to Yokohama, and support from the mayor of Yokohama allowed the team to gain financial support from the Kokudo Company. 55% of the team's share was retained by Taiyo, and the other 45% went to Kokudo.

Yokohama Taiyo Whales (1978-1992)

The Yokohama Stadium was newly created in Yokohama with the support of the Kokudo Company, and added the city into the team name to become the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1978. The Kokudo Company bought the Crown Lighter Lions in 1978, and sold its shares of the Whales team to the Nippon Broadcasting System and TBS. The Nippon Broadcasting System obtained 30% of the shares, and TBS bought 15%, while Taiyo kept its 55%. The team enjoyed far more popularity during this period than previous years, but continued to post only meager results in the standings, with their best placing being in 1979, when they finished second behind the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Yokohama BayStars (1993-present)

In November, 1992, Taiyo changed its name to the Maruha Corporation, and renamed the team as the Yokohama BayStars. The BayStars remain the only Japanese professional baseball team to not include the name of the parent company into the team name.

Originally, the team was going to be renamed the Yokohama Whales, but new restrictions on whaling convinced the company to drop the original name. Some superstitious fans had believed that dead whales put a curse onto the team, (the Maruha Corporation was famous for its whale meat products) preventing the Whales from winning championships. In his visit to the United States, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa remarked to former president Bill Clinton (who had proposed international restriction on whaling) that the Maruha Corporation's decision was reflective of Japan's change in attitude towards whaling.

The BayStars remained a non-contender during the early 1990s, but gradually assembled the players that would contribute to the team's championship in 1998. Akihiko Oya became manager in 1996, and almost caught up to the Yakult Swallows in 1997, ending in second place. Hiroshi Gondo (a pitching coach the previous year) became manager in 1998, and the BayStars won their first league championship in 38 years in 1998, defeating the Seibu Lions to win the Japanese championship series. The team's consistent hitting, impeccable defense, (players from the BayStars won five golden glove awards in 1998) and solid pitching staff (rounded by closer Kazuhiro Sasaki) contributed to an epic 1998 season.

The team dropped to third place in 1999, and has not been in serious contention for the championship ever since. In 2001, the Maruha Corporation sold its remaining shares to TBS, giving TBS full control of the team's finances. The current manager is Akihiko Oya, who returned in 2007 after leaving the team in 1997.

Current Roster

This is a partial list.
* - CF (金城龍彦)
* - OF (内川聖一)
* - SS (石井琢朗)
* - OF
* - 2B (仁志敏久)
* - C (相川亮二)
* - P (那須野巧)
* - P (川村丈夫)
* - P (加藤武治)
* - P (三浦大輔)
* - P (木塚敦志)
* - P (吉見祐治)
* - P (寺原隼人)
* - 3B (村田修一)
* - 1B,OF (佐伯貴弘)
* - P (土肥義弘)
* - 1B,OF (吉村裕基)
* - OF (小池正晃)
* - P (工藤公康)
* - OF (鈴木尚典)
* - P (横山道哉)

Mike Wood


*Tairiku Watanabe (渡辺大陸:1950)
*Haruyasu Nakajima (中島治康:1951)
*Giichi Arima (有馬義一:1951)
*Tokuro Konishi (小西得郎:1952-1953)
*Takeo Nagasawa (永沢武夫:1954)
*Isamu Fujii (藤井勇:1955)
*Masami Sakohata (迫畑正巳:1956-1958)
*Shigeo Mori (森茂雄:1959)
*Osamu Mihara (三原脩:1960-1967)
*Kaoru Betto (別当薫:1968-1974)
*Noboru Akiyama (秋山登:1975-1976)
*Kaoru Betto (別当薫:1977-1979)
*Kiyoshi Doi (土井淳:1980-1981)
*Junzo Sekine (関根潤三:1982-1984)
*Sadao Kondo (近藤貞雄:1985-1986)
*Takeshi Koba (古葉竹識:1987-1989)
*Yutaka Sudo (須藤豊:1990-1992)
*Akira Ejiri (江尻亮:1992)
*Akihito Kondo (近藤貞雄:1993-1995)
*Akihiko Oya (大矢明彦:1996-1997)
*Hiroshi Gondo (権藤博:1998-2000)
*Masahiko Mori (森祇晶:2001-2002)
*Daisuke Yamashita (山下大輔:2003-2004)
*Kazuhiko Ushijima (牛島和彦:2005-2006)
*Akihiko Oya (大矢明彦:2007-present)

Former Players

Taiyo Whales Era
* - 1B (松原誠:1962-80)
* - P (平松政次:1967-84)
* - 3B (クリート・ボイヤー:1972-75)
* - 2B (ジョン・シピン:1972-77)
* - 3B,1B (田代富雄:1973-91)
* - SS (山下大輔:1974-88)
* - P (斉藤明夫:1977-93)

Yokohama Taiyo Whales Era
* - 2B (フェリックス・ミヤーン:1978-1980)
* - P (遠藤一彦:1978-1992)
* - CF (屋鋪要:1978-1993)
* - 2B,SS (高木豊:1981-1993)
* - 3B (レオン・リー:1983-1985)
* - LF (加藤博一:1983-1990)
* - 1B (カルロス・ポンセ:1986-1990)
* - 1B,LF (ジム・パチョレック:1988-1991)
* - P (盛田幸妃:1988-1997)
* - SS,3B (進藤達哉:1988-2000)
* - P (野村弘樹:1988-2002)
* - C (谷繁元信:1989-2001)
* - P (佐々木主浩:1990-1999,2004-2005)
* - RF (ロバート・レイノルズ:1991-1992)
* - P (斎藤隆:1992-2005)
* - (ラリー・シーツ:1992)

Yokohama BayStars Era
* - RF (グレン・グラッグス:1993-1996)
* - 2B (ロバート・ローズ:1993-2000)
* - P (大家友和:1994-1998)
* - 1B (駒田徳広:1994-2000)
* - CF (波留敏夫:1994-2001)
* - CF (多村仁:1995-2006)
* - OF (中根仁:1998-2003)
* - 3B (ロウ・メローニ:2000)
* - P (ラファエル・ベタンコート:2000)
* - 2B (種田仁:2001-2007)
* - 1B (タイロン・ウッズ:2003-2004)
* - P (門倉健:2004-2006)
* - P (マーク・クルーン:2005-2007)
* - P (福盛和男:1995-2003)
* - 1B (スティーブ・コックス:2003)

Retired numbers

* 100 (Team)

ee also

*Tokyo Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS)

External links

*ja icon [ Yokohama BayStars official website]

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