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Article from Inside Pitch (HOF Newsletter)

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  • KJOK
    First Japanese Professional Team Founded On December 26, 1934, the first professional baseball team in Japan was founded. The Yomiuri Giants were the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2005
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      First Japanese Professional Team Founded



      On December 26, 1934, the first professional baseball team in Japan
      was founded. The Yomiuri Giants were the brainchild of Matsutaro
      Shoriki, the owner of the Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest and most
      prestigious newspaper in Tokyo. In a departure from American
      tradition, the team was not named after a city, but after its
      corporate sponsor.

      In 1935, the Giants played exhibition games against college teams and
      other corporate-sponsored teams. The following year, the first year
      of league play began in the Japanese Professional Baseball League,
      with seven teams. The Giants captured the first official pennant in
      1937, on their way to becoming the most successful of all Japanese
      baseball teams. The Giants, who perhaps could be called "The New York
      Yankees of Japan," have won more pennants and Japan Series
      championships than any other team.

      Like the Yankees, the Giants have featured some of the greatest
      players of those to have played in the Japanese major leagues. The
      early days of the franchise included great pitching from Eiji
      Sawamura and Victor Starfin, whose unusual name reflected his status
      as the son of a Russian man and a Japanese woman. Sawamura was 63-22
      for his career, with three no-hitters, before being killed in World
      War II. Starfin led the league in wins for four consecutive years,
      from 1937-40.

      The Franchise's two greatest offensive players, Shigeo Nagashima and
      Sadaharu Oh, joined the team in 1958 and 1959, respectively. Starting
      in 1965, the Giants won the Japan Series for nine consecutive
      seasons, led by this hitting duo.
    • Jim Allen
      The truth is that the Giants were not the first professional team in Japan. That honor belongs to the Shibaura Club, formed soon after World War I. It,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 2, 2005
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        The truth is that the Giants were not the first professional team in
        Japan. That honor belongs to the Shibaura Club, formed soon after World
        War I. It, however, folded more than 10 years before the Yomiuri picked
        up the idea and eventually formed Japan's first successful league (in
        1936).

        Jim Allen

        On 2005/01/03, at 7:34, KJOK wrote:

        >
        > First Japanese Professional Team Founded
        >
        >
        >
        > On December 26, 1934, the first professional baseball team in Japan
        > was founded. The Yomiuri Giants were the brainchild of Matsutaro
        > Shoriki, the owner of the Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest and most
        > prestigious newspaper in Tokyo. In a departure from American
        > tradition, the team was not named after a city, but after its
        > corporate sponsor.
        >
        > In 1935, the Giants played exhibition games against college teams and
        > other corporate-sponsored teams. The following year, the first year
        > of league play began in the Japanese Professional Baseball League,
        > with seven teams. The Giants captured the first official pennant in
        > 1937, on their way to becoming the most successful of all Japanese
        > baseball teams. The Giants, who perhaps could be called "The New York
        > Yankees of Japan," have won more pennants and Japan Series
        > championships than any other team.
        >
        > Like the Yankees, the Giants have featured some of the greatest
        > players of those to have played in the Japanese major leagues. The
        > early days of the franchise included great pitching from Eiji
        > Sawamura and Victor Starfin, whose unusual name reflected his status
        > as the son of a Russian man and a Japanese woman. Sawamura was 63-22
        > for his career, with three no-hitters, before being killed in World
        > War II. Starfin led the league in wins for four consecutive years,
        > from 1937-40.
        >
        > The Franchise's two greatest offensive players, Shigeo Nagashima and
        > Sadaharu Oh, joined the team in 1958 and 1959, respectively. Starting
        > in 1965, the Giants won the Japan Series for nine consecutive
        > seasons, led by this hitting duo.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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