Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Softbank hawks logo.png SoftBank Hawks insignia.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
LeagueNippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)
BallparkFukuoka Yahuoku! Dome (1993–present)
Year established1938; 81 years ago (1938)
Nickname(s)Taka (, hawk)
Japanese Baseball League titles2 (1946, 1948)
Pacific League pennants18 (1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1973, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Japan Series championships9 (1959, 1964, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
Former name(s)
  • Nankai (1938–1944)
  • Kinki Nippon (1944–1945)
  • Great Ring (1946–1947)
  • Nankai Hawks (1947–1988)
  • Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (1989–2004)
  • Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2005–present)
Former league(s)Japanese Baseball League (1938–1949)
Former ballparks
ColorsYellow, Black
         
OwnershipSoftBank
ManagerKimiyasu Kudoh
Uniforms
SoBa Hawks Uniforms.PNG

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (福岡ソフトバンクホークス, Fukuoka Sofutobanku Hōkusu) are a Japanese baseball team based in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture. The team was bought on January 28, 2005 by the SoftBank Corporation.

The team was formerly known as the Nankai Hawks and was based in Osaka. In 1988, Daiei bought the team from Osaka's Nankai Electric Railway Co., and its headquarters were moved to Fukuoka (which had been without NPB baseball since the Lions departed in 1979). The Daiei Hawks won the Pacific League championship in 1999, 2000 and 2003 and won the Japan Series in 1999 and 2003, and as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, won the Japan Series in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.

History[]

Nankai Electric Railway Company ownership (1938–1988)[]

The franchise's original name was Nankai when it joined the Japanese Baseball League (JBL) in 1938, with the name originating with the Nankai Electric Railway Co., which owned the team at the time. The team's name was changed to Kinki Nippon[1] in mid-1944 as it received partial sponsorship from Kinki Nippon Railway. After the 1945 hiatus in the JBL due to the Greater East Asia War, in 1946 the team's name was changed to Kinki Great Ring[2] and the team won the JBL championship. Throughout the name changes the club underwent between 1938 and 1946, Nankai Electric Railway Co. (in one form or another) maintained ownership of the franchise.

In mid-1947, Nankai settled upon its current moniker. The Nankai Hawks (南海ホークス). Under player-manager Kazuto Tsuruoka (known as Kazuto Yamamoto from 1946–1958)[3] they became one of the most successful franchises through the first two decades of the Pacific League's existence, taking two Japan Series championships and 10 Pacific League pennants. (Kazuto managed the team from 1946–1968, becoming the full-time manager after his retirement as a player in 1952.)[3][4]

In 1964, the Hawks team sent pitching prospect Masanori Murakami and two other young players to the San Francisco Giants single-A team Fresno as a baseball "exchange student". On September 1 of that year Murakami became the first Japanese player to play in Major League Baseball[5] when he appeared on the mound for the San Francisco Giants. Disputes over the rights to his contract eventually led to the 1967 United States – Japanese Player Contract Agreement. Murakami returned to the Hawks in 1966, playing for them through 1974. He contributed to the team's league championship in 1973.

The team fell on hard times between 1978 and 1988, finishing no better than 4th place out of the 6 teams in the Pacific League in any year in the period. The team witnessed its fan base diminish as a result of the prolonged period of poor play, with attendance dropping and the club dealing with reduced profits.

The change in the club's financial performance led Nankai Electric Railway to question the value of maintaining ownership, even after considering the value the team represented as an advertising tool. The company's board of directors and union leadership put pressure on Den Kawakatsu, then-president of Nankai Railway and primary owner of the team, to sell the team, which he refused to do. However, Mr. Kawakatsu, who represented the most ardent supporter of Nankai's ownership of the Hawks, died early in the 1988 season, and the team was sold to the Daiei Corporation to become the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks after the 1988 season.

Katsuya Nomura, Mutsuo Minagawa, Hiromitsu Kadota, and Chusuke Kizuka are among the more notable franchise players that were active during the Nankai era.

Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (1988–2004)[]

After the franchise was acquired by department store chain Daiei, Inc., the Hawks were flush with new funds and a new home city in Fukuoka, the capital of the eponymous prefecture on Kyushu Island. The city had been without professional baseball since the departure of the Crown Lighter Lions (today's Saitama Seibu Lions) in 1978. However, in spite of those efforts of the new ownership, the Hawks still were usually in the cellar of the Pacific League, and continued to be at the bottom half of the league until 1997.

The Hawks front office adopted a strategy of drafting and developing younger players, supplemented by free agent signings, a policy overseen by team president Ryuzo Setoyama and his aides. Setoyama's most brilliant moves were the hiring of home run king Sadaharu Oh in 1995 to take the reins of manager, a title he would hold until 2008 before he moved into the general manager's position. Oh replaced then-manager Rikuo Nemoto, who was named team president and held that position until his death in 1999. Also tapped was Akira Ishikawa, a little-known former player, who was tasked with bringing in talented amateurs. He brought in the likes of current Hanshin Tigers catcher Kenji Johjima, Kazumi Saitoh, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, future Chicago White Sox and current Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Tadahito Iguchi, shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, and future team captain Hiroki Kokubo.

Supplementing the amateur signings were some free-agent acquisitions, most of them former Seibu stars from their 1980s championship teams. Among them were infielder Hiromichi Ishige, immensely popular outfielder (and Hawks manager from 2008–2014, replacing Oh in that capacity) Koji Akiyama, and ace left-handed pitcher and current manager Kimiyasu Kudoh.

These moves (and a few unpopular cost-cutting measures) helped to make the Hawks gradually more competitive with each passing year, and in 1999, the team finally broke through. That season, Daiei made their first Japan Series appearance since 1973, and defeated the Chunichi Dragons in five games, giving them their first championship since 1964. Kudoh was dominant in his Game 1 start (complete game, 13 strikeouts), and Akiyama was named Series MVP.

The following year, the Hawks again made the Japan Series, but this time lost to the powerful Yomiuri Giants in six games. Despite the shaky financial ground that Daiei was on thanks to their rampant expansion in bubble-era Japan, the team continued to be competitive. The team won their second Japan Series in five years, defeating the popular Hanshin Tigers in seven games in the 2003 Japan Series, an exciting series in which the home team won every game.

Home run record controversy[]

In 2001, American Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, playing for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, hit 55 home runs with several games left, equaling Hawks' manager Sadaharu Oh's single-season home run record. The Buffaloes played a weekend series against the Oh-managed Hawks late in the season, and Rhodes was intentionally walked during each at-bat of the series. Video footage showed Hawks' catcher Kenji Johjima grinning as he caught the intentional balls. Oh denied any involvement and Hawks battery coach Yoshiharu Wakana stated that the pitchers acted on his orders, saying, "It would be distasteful to see a foreign player break Oh's record." Rhodes completed the season with 55 home runs. League commissioner Hiromori Kawashima denounced the Hawks' behavior as "unsportsmanlike". Hawks pitcher Keisaburo Tanoue went on record saying that he wanted to throw strikes to Rhodes and felt bad about the situation.[6][7]

In 2002, Venezuelan Alex Cabrera hit 55 home runs with five games left in the season, with several of those to be played against Oh's Hawks. Oh told his pitchers to throw strikes to Cabrera, but most of them ignored his order and threw balls well away from the plate. After the game, Oh stated, "If you're going to break the record, you should do it by more than one. Do it by a lot."[7] In the wake of the most recent incident involving Cabrera, ESPN listed Oh's single-season home run record as #2 on its list of "The Phoniest Records in Sports".[8]

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2005–present)[]

Daiei Inc had been under financial pressure to sell its 60% stake in the team over the previous few years, with reports in 2003 suggesting the company would sell the team and the Fukuoka Dome. Daiei attempted to hold on to the team and held discussions with its primary lenders, including UFJ Bank, to see if it could find a way to retain the team, but ultimately the sale went through to SoftBank in January 2005.

The Hawks continued their winning ways after the sale of the team to SoftBank. Following the sale, the Hawks represented one of the richest teams in Japan, with a player core still intact from the last years of the Daiei era. Particularly strong was the team's starting pitching behind Saitoh, Tsuyoshi Wada, Nagisa Arakaki, and Toshiya Sugiuchi. In 2005, the Hawks finished in first place during the regular season, but fell to the eventual Japan Series champions, the Chiba Lotte Marines in the second stage of the Climax Series. In 2006, a dramatic pennant race led to an even more exciting playoff run that ended in the Sapporo Dome at the hands of the eventual Japan Series Champions, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Team manager Sadaharu Oh missed most of the 2006 season due to stomach cancer.

The Hawks' 2007 season was plagued by injuries and general ineffectiveness and inconsistency, leading to another 3rd-place finish and first-stage exit in the playoffs at the hands of the Marines. In 2008, though various injuries still affected the Hawks' bench (especially the bullpen), the club claimed its first Interleague title in June, winning a tiebreaker against the Hanshin Tigers. However, injuries caught up with them in the final month of the season, and the Hawks finished in last place with a 54–74–2 record. The finish represented their worst since 1996. Oh announced his retirement at the end of the season, and former Hawk and fan favorite Koji Akiyama was named as his successor.

In 2009, the team cracked the playoffs once again on the backs of breakout seasons from surging starting pitcher D. J. Houlton, outfielder Yuya Hasegawa, Rookie of the Year Tadashi Settsu and another stellar season from ace Sugiuchi. However, the team still was unable to get out of the first stage, as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles ousted the Hawks in a 2-game sweep.

Team of the 2010's[]

The Hawks finally reclaimed the Pacific League regular season title in 2010 after a seven-year wait. The title came after a see-saw season in which the team recovered several times after extended losing streaks. Starting pitcher Wada, back from injury through much of the previous two seasons, was, along with fellow ace Sugiuchi, at his best. Wada set career highs in wins and games started. The reliable "SBM" relieving trio of Settsu, Brian Falkenborg, and Mahara limited opponent offenses late in games. The bullpen also benefited from the emergence of Keisuke Kattoh and Masahiko Morifuku, with the latter blossoming in the second half of the season.

The Hawks offense was largely composed of role players who seemed to take turns having big games and off days, and it was the team's speed that drove the team as the Hawks led the league in stolen bases in the regular season with 148, well ahead of their nearest challenger, who had 116. Yuichi Honda and Kawasaki combined to steal 89 bases. However, despite putting forward a strong group, the Hawks failed to make it to the Japan Series, losing to the Lotte Marines in six games in the Climax Series despite having a 3–1 series lead.

SoftBank won the Pacific League again in 2011, with a dominating season on all fronts. The offense was bolstered further by the acquisition of former Yokohama BayStars outfielder Seiichi Uchikawa, who led the league in batting in 2011. Pitching from Sugiuchi, Wada and an excellent bounce-back season from Houlton also helped propel the team to the best record in NPB. After sweeping the Saitama Seibu Lions in the Pacific League Climax Series, the Hawks took on the Chunichi Dragons to win the Japan Series, a rematch of the 1999 Japan Series. The Dragons pushed SoftBank to the full seven games, but the Hawks shut out the Dragons 3–0 in the seventh game to win their first Japan Series since 2003.

The 2012 season started with losses for the Hawks. During the off season, they lost their star starters Tsuyoshi Wada (to the Baltimore Orioles), Toshiya Sugiuchi and D.J. Houlton (to Yomiuri Giants) through free agency. All star shortstop Munenori Kawasaki also left the team for the Seattle Mariners. Closer Takahiro Mahara would sit out the season through injury. To compensate for these losses, the team acquired outfielder Wily Mo Peña and starter Brad Penny from MLB, in addition to starter Kazuyuki Hoashi from Seibu Lions. However, of the 3 major signings, only Peña made regular contributions. Hoashi and Penny made two starts combined in 2012, as Hoashi missed almost the entire season with an injury and Penny was released.

The team had to deal with their off season losses to their pitching staff from within the organization. Settsu was elevated to the team's ace, while young pitchers such as Kenji Otonari and Hiroki Yamada were given bigger roles. Nagisa Arakaki returned from long term injury to join the rotation. However, new closer Falkenborg had to sit out most of the season through injury, eventually handing over the role to Morifuku. Arakaki could not regain his former numbers. In the end, the losses could not be mitigated. The team could only finish third in the Pacific League regular season and eventually lost out to the Nippon Ham Fighters in the P.L. Climax Series Final Stage. The bright spark of the season came from rookie starter Shota Takeda, who went 8-1 with an ERA of 1.07.

In 2014 the Hawks won the Japan Series in five games over the Hanshin Tigers. Manager Koji Akiyama retired after the season, and the team named his former teammate Kimiyasu Kudoh to succeed him. Under Kudoh's stewardship, SoftBank won for a second consecutive season in 2015 again in five games, this time over the Yakult Swallows. Outfielder Yuki Yanagita won the Pacific League MVP and the batting title.[citation needed] It marked the first time since the Seibu Lions won three in a row from 1990 to 1992 that a team had won consecutive Japan Series championships.

After falling to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2016, the Hawks won the 2017 Japan Series in six games over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, in a series where the Hawks led 3-0, but were almost pushed to a 7th game.[9] The following year the Hawks also won the 2018 Japan Series against the Hiroshima Carp in six games, making it back to back titles for a 2nd time, and four out of the last five.

Players of note[]

Current coaching staff[]

First squad coaching staff
Position No. Name Japanese notation Bats Throws Career
Manager 81 JapanKimiyasu Kudoh 工藤 公康 Left Left 2015
Bench coach 86 JapanHiroyuki Mori 森 浩之 Right Right 2017
Pitching coach 94 JapanShinji Kurano 倉野 信次 Right Right 2009
98 JapanHiroshi Takamura 高村 祐 Right Right 2016
Hitting coach 94 JapanYoshiie Tachibana 立花 義家 Left Left 19982001,20092012,2017
88 JapanKoichi Sekikawa 関川 浩一 Left Right 2016,2018
Infield and base
running coach
80 JapanYuichi Honda 本多 雄一 Left Right 2019
Outfield and base
running coach
93 JapanArihito Muramatsu 村松 有人 Left Left 2014
Battery coach 95 JapanKenj Yoshitsuru 吉鶴 憲治 Right Right 2017
Manager 71 JapanKazuo Ogawa 小川 一夫 Right Right 20112013,2018
Pitching coaches 84 JapanYasuo Kubo 久保 康生 Right Right 2018
72 JapanKenichi Wakatabe 若田部 健一 Right Right 2017
91 JapanMasahiro Sakumoto 佐久本 昌広 Left Left 2015
Hitting coach 75 JapanNoriyoshi Omichi 大道 典良 Right Right 2013
77 JapanHiromasa Arai 新井 宏昌 Left Right 2003-2004,2007-2008,2019
Infield and base
running coach
74 JapanHideaki Matsuyama 松山 秀明 Right Right 2018
Outfield and base
running coach
87 JapanTatsuya Ide 井出 竜也 Right Right 2007
Battery coach 85 JapanTetsuya Matoyama 的山 哲也 Right Right 2009
Third squad coaching staff
Manager 76 JapanHiroshi Fujimoto 藤本 博史 Right Right 2011
Pitching coaches 82 JapanKeisaburo Tanoue 田之上 慶三郎 Right Right 20082012,2015
99 JapanYusaku Iriki 入来 祐作 Right Right 2015
Hitting coach 70 JapanRyo Yoshimoto 吉本亮 Right Right 2018
Infield and base
running coach
97 JapanTakashi Sasagawa 笹川 隆 Right Right 20112013,2017
Outfield and base
running coach
78 JapanTetsuya Iida 飯田 哲也 Right Right 2015
Battery coach 96 JapanRyota Kato 加藤 領健 Right Right 2018
Rehabilitation coach 73 JapanManabu Saitoh 斉藤 学 Right Right 2001

Current roster players[]

Roster players
No. Country Name Japanese notation Bats Throws Draft year
/Debut year
No. Country Name Japanese notation Bats Throws Draft year
/Debut year
Pitchers Catchers
10 Japan Kotaro Otake 大竹 耕太郎 Left Left 2017 12 Japan Hiroaki Takaya 髙谷 裕亮 Left Right 2006
11 Japan Kenichi Nakata 中田 賢一 Right Right 2004 30 Japan Tomoya Ichikawa 市川 友也 Right Right 2009
13 Japan Akira Niho 二保 旭 Right Right 2008 31 Japan Ryoya Kurihara 栗原 陵矢 Left Right 2014
14 Japan Ren Kajiya 加治屋 蓮 Right Right 2013 39 Japan Tamon Horiuchi 堀内 汰門 Right Right 2014
16 Japan Nao Higashihama 東浜 巨 Right Right 2012 45 Japan Kenta Tanigawara 谷川原 健太 Left Right 2015
17 Japan Sho Iwasaki 岩嵜 翔 Right Right 2007 62 Japan Takuya Kai 甲斐 拓也 Right Right 2010
18 Japan Shota Takeda 武田 翔太 Right Right 2011 65 Japan Ryuhei Kuki 九鬼 隆平 Right Right 2016
19 United States Ariel Miranda アリエル・ミランダ Left Left 2017 Infielders
20 Japan Hiroshi Kaino 甲斐野 央 Left Right 2018 0 Japan Tomoki Takata 高田 知季 Left Right 2012
21 Japan Tsuyoshi Wada 和田 毅 Left Left 2002 00 Japan Hikaru Kawase 川瀬 晃 Left Right 2015
25 Japan Seigi Tanaka 田中 正義 Right Right 2016 1 Japan Seiichi Uchikawa 内川 聖一 Right Right 2000
26 Japan Haruto Yoshizumi 吉住 晴斗 Right Right 2017 4 Japan Keizo Kawashima 川島 慶三 Right Right 2005
28 Japan Rei Takahashi 高橋 礼 Right Right 2017 5 Japan Nobuhiro Matsuda 松田 宣浩 Right Right 2005
29 Japan Shuta Ishikawa 石川 柊太 Right Right 2013 6 Japan Kenta Imamiya 今宮 健太 Right Right 2009
34 Japan Arata Shiino 椎野 新 Right Right 2017 8 Japan Kenji Akashi 明石 健志 Left Right 2003
35 Cuba Liván Moinelo リバン・モイネロ Left Left 2017 22 Japan Tetsuro Nishida 西田 哲朗 Right Right 2009
38 Japan Yuito Mori 森 唯斗 Right Right 2013 27 Cuba Yurisbel Gracial ジュリスベル・グラシアル Right Right 2017
40 Japan Kazuki Sugiyama 杉山 一樹 Right Right 2018 33 Japan Shu Masuda 増田 珠 Right Right 2017
41 Japan Kodai Senga 千賀 滉大 Left Right 2010 36 Japan Taisei Makihara 牧原 大成 Left Right 2010
42 Japan Ryoma Matsuda 松田 遼馬 Right Right 2011 55 Japan Daiju Nomura 野村 大樹 Right Right 2018
44 Netherlands Rick van den Hurk リック・バンデンハーク Right Right 2015 68 Japan Masaki Mimori 三森 大貴 Right Right 2016
47 Japan Jumpei Takahashi 高橋 純平 Right Right 2015 69 Japan Yuki Mima 美間 優槻 Right Right 2012
48 Japan Ken Okamoto 岡本 健 Right Right 2013 Outfielders
49 Japan Yuto Furuya 古谷 優人 Left Left 2016 7 Japan Akira Nakamura 中村 晃 Left Left 2007
50 Japan Yugo Bandoh 板東 湧梧 Right Right 2018 9 Japan Yuki Yanagita 柳田 悠岐 Left Right 2010
53 Japan Keisuke Izumi 泉 圭輔 Right Right 2018 24 Japan Yuya Hasegawa 長谷川 勇也 Left Right 2006
56 Japan Fumimaru Taura 田浦 文丸 Left Left 2017 32 Japan Masayoshi Tsukada 塚田 正義 Right Right 2011
57 Japan Shinya Kayama 嘉弥真 新也 Left Left 2011 37 Japan Shuhei Fukuda 福田 秀平 Left Right 2006
58 United States Dennis Sarfate デニス・サファテ Right Right 2011 43 Japan Tomoaki Egawa 江川 智晃 Right Right 2004
61 Japan Masato Okumura 奥村 政稔 Right Right 2018 51 Japan Seiji Uebayashi 上林 誠知 Left Right 2013
66 Japan Yuki Matsumoto 松本 裕樹 Left Right 2014 54 Cuba Alfredo Despaigne アルフレド・デスパイネ Right Right 2014
67 Japan Shunsuke Kasaya 笠谷 俊介 Left Left 2014 59 Japan Shun Mizutani 水谷 瞬 Right Right 2018
90 Venezuela Robert Suárez ロベルト・スアレス Right Right 2016 60 Japan Go Kamamoto 釜元 豪 Left Right 2011
64 Japan Yusuke Masago 真砂 勇介 Right Right 2012

Current developmental squad players[]

Developmental squad players
No. Country Name Japanese notation Bats Throws Draft year
/Debut year
No. Country Name Japanese notation Bats Throws Draft year
/Debut year
Pitchers 131 Japan Masahiro Harimoto 張本 優大 Right Right 2013
120 Japan Shuto Ogata 尾形 崇斗 Left Right 2017 132 Japan Riku Watanabe 渡邉 陸 Left Right 2018
122 Japan Hiroyuki Kawahara 川原 弘之 Left Left 2009 Infielders
123 Japan Reiji Kozawa 小澤 怜史 Left Right 2015 121 Japan Ukyo Shuto 周東 佑京 Left Right 2017
129 Japan Yuto Nozawa 野澤 佑斗 Left Right 2015 124 Japan Shogo Furusawa 古澤 勝吾 Right Right 2014
130 Japan Taiga Kasahara 笠原 大芽 Righ Left 2012 126 Japan Kenta Kurose 黒瀬 健太 Right Right 2015
133 Japan Naoya Okamoto 岡本 直也 Left Left 2018 127 Japan Richard Sunagawa 砂川 リチャード Right Right 2017
134 Japan Hiroki Hasegawa 長谷川 宙輝 Left Left 2016 Outfielders
136 Japan Shin Nakamura 中村 晨 Right Right 2015 125 Japan Shogo Ohmoto 大本 将吾 Left Right 2016
137 Japan Takeshi Watanabe 渡辺 健史 Left Left 2015 135 Japan Tsubasa Tashiro 田城 飛翔 Left Right 2016
138 Japan Tomoaki Shigeta 重田 倫明 Right Right 2018 139 Japan Yamato Higurashi 日暮 矢麻人 Left Left 2017
140 Japan Yuta Watanabe 渡邉 雄大 Left Left 2017 141 Japan Rikuya Shimizu 清水 陸哉 Right Right 2016
143 Japan Yosuke Shimabukuro 島袋 洋奨 Left Left 2014 142 Japan Takamasa Nakamura 中村 宜聖 Right Right 2018
Catchers 144 Cuba Oscar Colas オスカー・コラス Left Left 2017

Former players[]

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks era[]

Fukuoka Daiei Hawks era[]

Nankai Hawks era[]

Retired numbers[]

Honored numbers[]

Sadaharu Oh's 89 was originally planned to be retired or honored after his retirement, but Oh made clear his preference to give the number to his successor. Ultimately, however, the man who replaced him as manager of the Hawks, Akiyama, declined to wear the number on the grounds that the honor of bearing it would be too great so shortly after Oh's departure. Instead, Akiyama wore the number 81.

Mascot[]

Hawks has the largest number of mascots in NPB, the Hawk family. The current family members since 1992 are as follows:

MLB players[]

Retired:

Notes[]

  1. ^ "Kinki Nihon," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Kinki Great Ring," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 11, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Kazuto Tsuruoka," Baseball-Reference.com "Bullpen." Accessed March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "Kazuto Tsuruoka," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Kleinberg, Alexander (December 24, 2001). "Where have you gone, Masanori Murakami?". Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on August 18, 2002. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  6. ^ Roah, Jeff, "tokyo under the tracks: It's Never Too Late to Insert an Asterisk" Archived 2009-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, Tokyo Q, October 12, 2001.
  7. ^ a b Whiting, Robert, "Equaling Oh's HR record proved difficult", Japan Times, October 31, 2008, p. 12.
  8. ^ Merron, Jeff, "The Phoniest Records in Sports" Archived June 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine, ESPN.com, February 28, 2003.
  9. ^ "Hawks earn spot in Japan Series". The Japan Times. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Though not fully official, the Hawks do honor the number 90, which belonged to Yasutake Kageura, a fictional character from the Japanese baseball manga Abu-san, in which he was depicted with the franchise during the Nankai Hawks era. This is the only squad number honored to a fictional manga character in the NPB.

External links[]