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Saitama Seibu Lions

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Nippon Professional Baseball 1950–present

  • Pacific League 1950–present
Ballpark Seibu Prince Dome 1979–present Year established 1950 Nicknames Shishi 獅子, lion Pacific League pennants 21 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1963, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008 Japan Series championships 13 1956, 1957, 1958, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2004, 2008 Former names
  • Nishitetsu Clippers 1950
  • Nishitetsu Lions 1951–1972
  • Taiheiyo Club Lions 1973–1976
  • Crown Lighter Lions 1977–1978
  • Seibu Lions 1979–2007
  • Saitama Seibu Lions 2008–present
Former ballparks Heiwadai Stadium 1950–1978 Colors Blue, White, Red
               Ownership Seibu Railway Manager Hatsuhiko Tsuji

The Saitama Seibu Lions 埼玉西武ライオンズ, Saitama Seibu Raionzu are a professional baseball team in Japan's Pacific League based north of Tokyo in Tokorozawa, Saitama Before 1979, they were based in Fukuoka in Kyushu The team is owned by a subsidiary of Prince Hotels, which in turn is owned by the Seibu Group The team experienced a recent period of financial difficulty, but the situation brightened when the team received a record ¥6 billion about $5111 million posting fee from the Boston Red Sox for the right to negotiate a contract with Daisuke Matsuzaka Between 1978 and 2008, the team logo and mascot were based on the adult version of Kimba the White Lion, a classic Japanese anime series by Osamu Tezuka In 2004, former Seibu Lions player Kazuo Matsui became the first Japanese infielder to play in Major League Baseball

Contents

  • 1 Franchise history
    • 11 Nishitetsu Clippers 1950
    • 12 Nishitetsu Lions 1951–1972
    • 13 Taiheiyo Club Lions 1973–1976
    • 14 Crown Lighter Lions 1977–1978
    • 15 Seibu Lions 1979–2007
      • 151 Golden Age 1982–1994
        • 1511 Prominent Golden Age Players
    • 16 Saitama Seibu Lions 2008–
  • 2 Season-by-season records
  • 3 Current roster
    • 31 Coaches/Other
      • 311 Manager
      • 312 Coaches
  • 4 Managers
  • 5 Former players of note
    • 51 Retired numbers
    • 52 MLB players
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Franchise history

Nishitetsu Clippers 1950

In 1950, the team became a founding member of the Pacific League It was then owned by Nishi-Nippon Railroad, which was based in Fukuoka The team finished sixth that year, and at the end of the season was merged with the Nishi-Nippon Pirates to form the Nishitetsu Lions

Nishitetsu Lions 1951–1972

The Nishitetsu Lions called Heiwadai Stadium home for their entire existence They were one of a dominant team in the Pacific League during the 1950s, winning four pennants, including three straight Japan Series against the Yomiuri Giants behind famed manager Osamu Mihara

The team struggled through the following decade and did not witness much success on the field In 1969–1970 the team was caught up in the infamous Black Mist game-fixing scandal, which resulted in four Lions pitchers being banned from NPB for life, as well as other players receiving lesser punishments These losses decimated the team, which finished the 1970 season in last place

After a third straight last-place finish, in November 1972 the franchise was sold to the Fukuoka Baseball Corporation, also a part of Nishi-Nippon Railroad Following the sale, the team was renamed the Taiheiyo Club Lions

Taiheiyo Club Lions 1973–1976

Nishi-Nippon Railroad, founded by Nagayoshi Nakamura, owner of Lotte and the Orions, sold the team's sponsorship rights to Taiheiyo Club, a golf course and resort developer Through the 1970s, the Lions finished no higher than third

Crown Lighter Lions 1977–1978

At the end of the 1976 season, the Fukuoka Baseball Corporation announced that the team's new sponsor was Crown Gas Lighter With this, the team's name for the upcoming season was changed to the Crown Lighter Lions At the end of the 1978 season, the team was sold to Kokudo Keikaku later Kokudo, and then merged into Prince Hotels

Seibu Lions 1979–2007

Following the sale of the Crown Lighter Lions and their merging into Price Hotels, the team was renamed the Seibu Lions and relocated to a new ballpark in Tokorozawa, Saitama

Golden Age 1982–1994

The Lions finished in last place following the 1979 season as of 2016, this is the last time this has happened to them However, the following seasons would mark the beginning of a period of sustained success for the team under new manager Tatsuro Hirooka and with star players such as Osamu Higashio and Kōichi Tabuchi Tatsuro Hirooka told the players that meat and other animal foods increase athletes' susceptibility to injury, and decrease their ability to perform He required all players to take up a strictly vegetarian diet The club won two-year straight Japan Series in 1982 and 1983, and went the championship again in 1985, but lost to the Hanshin Tigers

Following the 1986 season, the club replaced Hirooka with Masaaki Mori, who was able to sustain the team's prolonged success Mori won eight league championships, between 1986 and 1988 and 1990–1994, and six Japan Series championships in his nine-year managing career, winning the Japan Series in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1992

The team gained the moniker "Invincible Seibu" during the 1980s and 1990s due to their sustained domination of the league The Lions had a powerful lineup in this period, loaded with sluggers such as Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Orestes Destrade Their defense also benefited from the services of skilled players such as Romeo Calhoun, Hiromichi Ishige, Hatsuhiko Tsuji and catcher Tsutomu Ito Among the pitchers employed by the Lions in this period was "The Oriental Express" Taigen Kaku, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Hisanobu Watanabe, and relievers Yoshitaka Katori and Tetsuya Shiozaki

Prominent Golden Age Players
Name position Title and accomplishment Note
Kouji Akiyama CF Home Run title 1987, Stolen Base title 1990, Golden Glove 1987–1996, 1999
437 HR and 303 SB in career
Belonged to Fukuoka Daiei Hawks from 1994 to 2002 Current Hawks manager
Kazuhiro Kiyohara 1B Rookie of the year 1986, Golden Glove 1988,1990, 1992–1994,
525 HR and 1527 RBIs in career
Belonged to Yomiuri Giants from 1997 to 2005, Orix Buffaloes from 2006 to 2008 Retired in 2008
Orestes Destrade DH Home Run title 1990–1992, RBI Title 1990–1991 Played 1993–1994 seasons with Florida Marlins of MLB
Hiromichi Ishige SS Rookie of the year, Golden Glove 1981–1983, 1985–1988, 1991–1993, MVP 1986 Manager of Orix BlueWave for a short time in 2003
Hatsuhiko Tsuji 2B Batting title 1993, Golden Glove 1986, 1988–1994 Played for Yakult Swallows in 1996, retired after '96 season
Tsutomu Ito C Golden Glove 1985–1988, 1990–1992, 1994–1995, 1997–1998 Retired in 2003, Lions manager from 2004 to 2007
Hisanobu Watanabe P Winning Percentage title 1986, 1988, 1990, ERA Title 1986, Strikeout title 1986, Golden Glove 1990, No-hitter 1996 Played for Yakult Swallows in 1998, retired from NPB after '98 season Lions manager from 2008–2013
Osamu Higashio P Wins Champion 1975,1983, ERA Title 1983, Strikeout title 1975, MVP 1983, 1987, Golden Glove 1983–1987 Member of Lions through four different team owners Nishitetsu, Taiheyo Club, Crown Lighter, Seibu Lions manager from 1995–2001
Terry Whitfield OF Best Nine Award 1981, 1983
Steve Ontiveros 3B OBP 1983, 1984 Best Nine Award 1982, 1983
Taigen Kaku P MVP1991, Golden Glove 1991–1992, No-hitter 1985 Retired in 1996 Taiwan national team manager 2007
Kimiyasu Kudoh P ERA title 1985,1987,1993,1999, Winning Percentage Title1987,1991,1993,2000, Strikeout title 1996,1999, Golden Glove 1994–1995,2000, MVP 1999, longest NPB career as player 28 years Belonged to Fukuoka Daiei Hawks from 1994, Yomiuri Giants from 2000, Yokohama BayStars from 2007 to 2009, returned to Lions in 2010 Only active player in "Golden Age" in 2010 season

Saitama Seibu Lions 2008–

In order to reinforce the affiliation between the team and their home region, the Lions added the prefecture name "Saitama" to their team name in 2008 They were Pacific League Champions that year and went on to win the Japan Series The team logo and uniforms were further modified for the 2009 season, with the team trading in their traditional light-blue colour scheme for a dark blue design similar to that employed during the Nishitetsu Lions' era in the 1950s and 1960s

Season-by-season records

Year Team Name Place
1950 Nishitetsu Clippers 5th
1951 Nishitetsu Lions 2nd
1952 Nishitetsu Lions 3rd
1953 Nishitetsu Lions 4th
1954 Nishitetsu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1955 Nishitetsu Lions 2nd
1956 Nishitetsu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1957 Nishitetsu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1958 Nishitetsu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1959 Nishitetsu Lions 4th
1960 Nishitetsu Lions 3rd
1961 Nishitetsu Lions 3rd
1962 Nishitetsu Lions 3rd
1963 Nishitetsu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1964 Nishitetsu Lions 5th
1965 Nishitetsu Lions 3rd
1966 Nishitetsu Lions 2nd
1967 Nishitetsu Lions 2nd
1968 Nishitetsu Lions 5th
1969 Nishitetsu Lions 5th
1970 Nishitetsu Lions 6th
1971 Nishitetsu Lions 6th
1972 Nishitetsu Lions 6th
1973 Taiheiyo Club Lions 4th
1974 Taiheiyo Club Lions 4th
1975 Taiheiyo Club Lions 3rd
1976 Taiheiyo Club Lions 6th
1977 Crown Lighter Lions 6th
1978 Crown Lighter Lions 5th
1979 Seibu Lions 6th
1980 Seibu Lions 4th
1981 Seibu Lions 4th
1982 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1983 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1984 Seibu Lions 3rd
1985 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1986 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1987 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1988 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1989 Seibu Lions 3rd
1990 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1991 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1992 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
1993 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1994 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1995 Seibu Lions 3rd
1996 Seibu Lions 3rd
1997 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1998 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
1999 Seibu Lions 2nd
2000 Seibu Lions 2nd
2001 Seibu Lions 3rd
2002 Seibu Lions 1st lost Japan Series
2003 Seibu Lions 2nd
2004 Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
2005 Seibu Lions 3rd
2006 Seibu Lions 2nd
2007 Seibu Lions 5th
2008 Saitama Seibu Lions 1st Japan Series Winner
2009 Saitama Seibu Lions 4th
2010 Saitama Seibu Lions 2nd
2011 Saitama Seibu Lions 3rd
2012 Saitama Seibu Lions 2nd
2013 Saitama Seibu Lions 2nd
2014 Saitama Seibu Lions 5th
2015 Saitama Seibu Lions 4th
2016 Saitama Seibu Lions 4th

Current roster

Saitama Seibu Lions roster
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First squad Second squad

Pitchers

  • 14 Tatsushi Masuda
  • 15 Tatsuya Oishi
  • 16 Yusei Kikuchi
  • 17 Kona Takahashi
  • 18 Shinsaburo Tawata
  • 20 Ryoma Nogami
  • 29 Hirotaka Koishi
  • 35 Kazuhisa Makita
  • 47 Brian Schlitter
  • 48 Shota Takekuma
  • 50 Kentaro Fukukura
  • 54 Brian Wolfe

Catchers

  • 27 Ginjiro Sumitani
  • 37 Masatoshi Okada
  • 49 Tatsuyuki Uemoto

Infielders

  •  3 Hideto Asamura
  •  6 Sosuke Genda
  •  8 Naoto Watanabe
  • 32 Kyohei Nagae
  • 33 Hotaka Yamakawa
  • 44 Shuta Tonosaki
  • 60 Takeya Nakamura
  • 99 Ernesto Mejía

Outfielders

  •  1 Takumi Kuriyama
  • 51 Fumikazu Kimura
  • 55 Shogo Akiyama
  • 61 Shotaro Tashiro
  • 65 Shogo Saitoh


Manager

  • 85 Hatsuhiko Tsuji
Pitchers
  • 11 Tatsuya Imai
  • 12 Kuo Chun-lin
  • 21 Ken Togame
  • 22 Shunta Nakatsuka
  • 23 Shogo Noda
  • 25 Katsunori Hirai
  • 26 Seiji Kawagoe
  • 28 Ryohei Fujiwara
  • 30 Yosuke Okamoto
  • 31 Toshihiro Iwao
  • 34 Yasuo Sano
  • 36 Tadasuke Minamikawa
  • 38 Yusuke Tamamura
  • 40 Ichiro Tamura
  • 41 Makoto Aiuchi
  • 43 Tomomi Takahashi
  • 45 Keisuke Honda
  • 57 Tsubasa Kokuba
  • 59 Frank Garces
  • 66 Naoaki Matsumoto
  • 63 Isamu Sato
  • 67 Koki Fujita
  • 68 Alexis Candelario

Catchers

  • 10 Tomoya Mori
  • 62 Hitoto Komazuki
  • 64 Shota Nakata
  • 78 Komei Fujisawa
Infielders
  • 00 Daichi Mizuguchi
  •  2 Yuji Kaneko
  • 121 Shogo Kimura
  •  5 Yuji Onizaki
  • 39 Nien Ting Wu
  • 52 Haruka Yamada
  • 56 Kazuki Kaneko

Outfielders

  •  9 Yutaro Ohsaki
  •  46 Shohei Suzuki
  • 53 Aito Otaki
  • 58 Masato Kumashiro
  • 71 Daisuke Togawa
  • 88 Ryo Sakata


Manager

  • 83 Tetsuya Shiozaki


Updated 2016
→ All NPB rosters

Coaches/Other

Manager

  • 85 Hatsuhiko Tsuji 田辺 徳雄

Coaches

  • 73 Hideki Hashigami 橋上 秀樹 – Head Coach
  • 80 Shigenobu Shima 嶋 重宣 – Batting
  • 76 Masahiro Abe 阿部 真宏 – Batting
  • 84 Kosaku Akimoto 秋元 宏作 – Battery
  • 72 Yoshihiro Doi 土肥 義弘 – Pitching
  • 89 Shinji Mori 森 慎二 – Pitching
  • 83 Toshifumi Baba 馬場 敏史 – Infield defense and Base-running
  • 70 Tomoaki Sato 佐藤 友亮 – Outfield defense and Base-running
  • 92 Shinobu Sakamoto 坂本 忍 – Training
  • 98 Takafumi Sato 里 隆文 – Training
  • 86 Tetsuya Shiozaki 潮崎 哲也 – Farm Manager
  • 75 Hiroyuki Takagi 高木 浩之 – Farm Hitting and Head Coach
  • 74 Fumiya Nishiguchi 西口 文也 – Farm Pitching
  • 91 Eiji Kiyokawa 清川 栄治 – Farm Pitching
  • 82 Kosuke Noda 野田 浩輔 – Farm Battery
  • 87 Satoshi Kuroda 黒田 哲史 – Farm infield defense and Base-running
  • 77 Shogo Akada 赤田 将吾 – Farm outfield, base-running and batting
  • 81 Takanori Hoshi 星 孝典 – Ikusei and development
  • 95 Haruki Kurokawa 黒川 春樹 – Farm Training
  • 96 Kenta Kudo 工藤 建太 – Farm Training

Managers

  • Kaname Miyazaki 宮崎 要 1950
  • Osamu Mihara 三原 脩 1951–1959
  • Tokuji Kawasaki 川崎 徳次 1960–1961
  • Futoshi Nakanishi 中西 太 1962–1969
  • Kazuhisa Inao 稲尾 和久 1970–1974
  • Shinichi Eto 江藤 愼一 1975
  • Leo Durocher レオ・ドローチャー 1976
  • Masaichi Kito 鬼頭 政一 1976–1977
  • Rikuo Nemoto 根本 陸夫 1978–1981
  • Tatsuro Hirooka 広岡 達朗 1982–1985
  • Masaaki Mori 森 祇晶 1986–1994
  • Osamu Higashio 東尾 修 1995–2001
  • Haruki Ihara 伊原 春樹 2002–2003,2014
  • Tsutomu Ito 伊東 勤 2004–2007
  • Hisanobu Watanabe 渡辺 久信 2008–2013
  • Haruki Ihara 伊原 春樹 2014
  • Norio Tanabe 田辺 徳雄 2014–2016
  • Hatsuhiko Tsuji 辻 発彦 2017-

Former players of note

  • Hiroshi Ohshita 大下 弘 1952–1959
  • Phil Paine 1953
  • Mateo Alou 1974–1976
  • Terry Whitfield テリー・ウィットフィールド 1981–1983
  • Koichi Tabuchi 田淵 幸一 1979–1984
  • Steve Ontiveros スティーブ・オンティベロス 1980–1985
  • George Vukovich ジョージ・ブコビッチ 1986–1987
  • Osamu Higashio 東尾 修 1969–1988
  • Ty Van Burkleo タイラー・バン・バークレオ 1987–1990
  • Yoshiie Tachibana 立花 義家 1977–1991
  • Kouji Akiyama 秋山 幸二 1981–1993
  • Hiromichi Ishige 石毛 宏典 1981–1994
  • Orestes Destrade オレステス・デストラーデ 1989–1995
  • Rhome Calhoun 1994-2001
  • Kazuhiro Kiyohara 清原 和博1986–1996
  • Darrin Jackson ダリン・ジャクソン1995–1996
  • Taigen Kaku 郭 泰源 1985–1997
  • James L Byers ジェームズ・バイアーズ1998–2000
  • Tony Fernández トニー・フェルナンデス 2000
  • Corey Paul コーリー・ポール 1999–2001
  • Kazuo Matsui 松井 稼頭央 1994–2003
  • Tetsuya Shiozaki 潮崎 哲也 1990–2004
  • Shinji Mori 森 慎二 1997–2005
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka 松坂 大輔 1999–2006
  • Chang Chih-Chia 張 誌家 2002–2006
  • Alex Cabrera A・カブレラ 2001–2007
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima 中島 裕之 2001–2012
  • Kazuhisa Ishii 石井 一久 2008–2013

Retired numbers

  • 24 Kazuhisa Inao

MLB players

Retired:

  • Kazuo Matsui 2004–2010
  • Shinji Mori 2006–2007
  • Kazuhisa Ishii 2002–2006
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka 2007–2014

Notes

  1. ^ Although many fans, team officials, and members of the press consider the mascot to be a variation of Kimba, Tezuka has stated that it is based on Caesar, the father of Kimba
  2. ^ The Lions adopted a new mascot for the 2009 season

References

  1. ^ "Rockies acquire infielder Kazuo Matsui and cash considerations from New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Eli Marrero | Colorado Rockies" Newyorkmetsmlbcom Retrieved 2016-08-01 
  2. ^

External links

  • in Japanese Saitama Seibu Lions official web site
  • High resolution photos and discussion of the Lions in English

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