Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

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Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Softbank hawks logo.pngSoftBank Hawks insignia.png
Team logoCap insignia
Information
LeagueNippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)
BallparkFukuoka Yahuoku! Dome (1993–present)
Year established1938; 80 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[edit]

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

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 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 in 1988, 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)[edit]

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. 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[edit]

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)[edit]

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.

At the end of the 2008 season, Oh announced his retirement, and former Hawk and fan favorite Koji Akiyama was named as Oh's 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.

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 stole 59 bases while Kawasaki stole 30. 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 the MLB, in addition to starter Kazuyuki Hoashi from Seibu Lions. However, of the 3 major signings, only Peña made regular contributions. Hoashi was injured in his first regular season start and did not rejoin the team for the rest of the season. Penny was in the downward spiral of his career and started only 1 game for the Hawks before being 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. They won for a second consecutive season in 2015, with outfielder Yuki Yanagita winning league MVP and the batting title.[citation needed] The Hawks also won the 2017 Japan Series.[9]The following year the Hawks also won the 2018 Japan series making it back to back titles for the second time in five years.

Players of note[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

First squad coaching staff
PositionNo.NameJapanese notationBatsThrowsCareer
Manager81JapanKimiyasu Kudoh工藤 公康LeftLeft2015
Bench coach79JapanMitsuo Tatsukawa達川 光男RightRight1995,2017
Pitching coach94JapanShinji Kurano倉野 信次RightRight2009
72JapanKenichi Wakatabe若田部 健一RightRight2017
98JapanHiroshi Takamura高村 祐RightRight2016
Hitting coach94JapanYoshiie Tachibana立花 義家LeftLeft19982001,20092012,2017
76JapanHiroshi Fujimoto藤本 博史RightRight2011
Infield and base
running coach
80JapanYoshio Mizukami水上 善雄RightRight2014
Outfield and base
running coach
93JapanArihito Muramatsu村松 有人LeftLeft2014
Battery coach95JapanKenj Yoshithuru吉鶴 憲治RightRight2017
Operations and
battery coach
86JapanHiroyuki Mori森 浩之RightRight2017
Second squad coaching staff
Manager71JapanKazuo Ogawa小川 一夫RightRight20112013,2018
Pitching coaches84JapanYasuo Kubo久保 康生RightRight2018
91JapanMasahiro Sakumoto佐久本 昌広LeftLeft2015
Hitting coach75JapanNoriyoshi Omichi大道 典良RightRight2013
78JapanTetsuya Iida飯田 哲也RightRight2015
Infield and base
running coach
74JapanHideaki Matsuyama松山 秀明RightRight2018
Outfield and base
running coach
87JapanTatsuya Ide井出 竜也RightRight2007
Battery coach85JapanTetsuya Matoyama的山 哲也RightRight2009
Third squad coaching staff
Manager88JapanKoichi Sekikawa関川 浩一LeftRight2016,2018
Pitching coaches82JapanKeisaburo Tanoue田之上 慶三郎RightRight20082012,2015
99JapanYusaku Iriki入来 祐作RightRight2015
Hitting coach70JapanRyo Yoshimoto吉本亮RightRight2018
Infield and base
running coach
97JapanTakashi Sasagawa笹川 隆RightRight20112013,2017
Outfield and base
running coach
92JapanFumikazu Takanami高波 文一RightRight20122013,2017
Battery coach96JapanRyota Kato加藤 領健RightRight2018
Rehabilitation coach73JapanManabu Saitoh斉藤 学RightRight2001

Current roster players[edit]

Roster players
No.CountryNameJapanese notationBatsThrowsDraft year
/Debut year
No.CountryNameJapanese notationBatsThrowsDraft year
/Debut year
Pitchers31JapanRyoya Kurihara栗原 陵矢LeftRight2014
10JapanKoutaro Ohtake大竹 耕太郎LeftLeft201739JapanTamon Horiuchi堀内 汰門RightRight2014
11JapanKenichi Nakata中田 賢一RightRight200445JapanKenta Tanigawara谷川原 健太LeftRight2015
13JapanAkira Niho二保 旭RightRight200862JapanTakuya Kai甲斐 拓也RightRight2010
14JapanRen Kajiya加治屋 蓮RightRight201365JapanRyuhei Kuki九鬼 隆平RightRight2016
16JapanNao Higashihama東浜 巨RightRight201277JapanMasahiro Harimoto張本 優大RightRight2013
17JapanSho Iwasaki岩嵜 翔RightRight2007Infielders
18JapanShota Takeda武田 翔太RightRight20110JapanTomoki Takata高田 知季LeftRight2012
19United StatesAriel Mirandaアリエル・ミランダLeftLeft201700JapanHikaru Kawase川瀬 晃LeftRight2015
20JapanHayato Terahara寺原 隼人RightRight20011JapanSeiichi Uchikawa内川 聖一RightRight2000
21JapanTsuyoshi Wada和田 毅LeftLeft20022JapanKenta Imamiya今宮 健太RightRight2009
25JapanSeigi Tanaka田中 正義RightRight20163JapanNobuhiro Matsuda松田 宣浩RightRight2005
26JapanHaruto Yoshizumi吉住 晴斗RightRight20174JapanKeizo Kawashima川島 慶三RightRight2005
28JapanRei Takahashi高橋 礼RightRight20178JapanKenji Akashi明石 健志LeftRight2003
29JapanShuta Ishikawa石川 柊太RightRight201322JapanTetsuro Nishida西田 哲朗RightRight2009
34JapanArata Shiino椎野 新RightRight201727CubaYurisbel Gracialジュリスベル・グラシアルRightRight2017
35CubaLiván Moineloリバン・モイネロLeftLeft201733JapanShū Masuda増田 珠RightRight2017
38JapanYuito Mori森 唯斗RightRight201336JapanTaisei Makihara牧原 大成LeftRight2010
40JapanReiji Kozawa小澤 怜史LeftRight201546JapanYuichi Honda本多 雄一LeftRight2005
41JapanKodai Senga千賀 滉大LeftRight201055JapanKenta Chatani茶谷 健太RightRight2015
42JapanRyoma Matsuda松田 遼馬RightRight201159JapanShōgo Furusawa古澤 勝吾RightRight2014
44NetherlandsRick van den Hurkリック・バンデンハークRightRight201561JapanKenta Kurose黒瀬 健太RightRight2015
47JapanJumpei Takahashi高橋 純平RightRight201568JapanMasaki Mimori三森 大貴RightRight2016
48JapanKen Okamoto岡本 健RightRight201369JapanYuki Mima美間 優槻RightRight2012
49JapanYuto Furuya古谷 優人LeftLeft2016Outfielders
50JapanTadashi Settsu攝津 正RightRight20086JapanYuki Yoshimura吉村 裕基RightRight2002
53JapanRyota Igarashi五十嵐 亮太RightRight19977JapanAkira Nakamura中村 晃LeftLeft2007
56JapanFumimaru Taura田浦 文丸LeftLeft20179JapanYuki Yanagita柳田 悠岐LeftRight2010
57JapanShinya Kayama嘉弥真 新也LeftLeft201123JapanRyuma Kidokoro城所 龍磨LeftRight2003
58United StatesDennis Sarfateデニス・サファテRightRight201124JapanYuya Hasegawa長谷川 勇也LeftRight2006
63JapanTaiga Kasahara笠原 大芽RightLeft201232JapanMasayoshi Tsukada塚田 正義RightRight2011
66JapanYuki Matsumoto松本 裕樹LeftRight201437JapanShuhei Fukuda福田 秀平LeftRight2006
67JapanShunsuke Kasaya笠谷 俊介LeftLeft201443JapanTomoaki Egawa江川 智晃RightRight2004
90VenezuelaRobert Suárezロベルト・スアレスRightRight201651JapanSeiji Uebayashi上林 誠知LeftRight2013
Catchers54CubaAlfredo Despaigneアルフレド・デスパイネRightRight2014
12JapanHiroaki Takaya髙谷 裕亮LeftRight200660JapanGō Kamamoto釜元 豪LeftRight2011
30JapanTomoya Ichikawa市川 友也RightRight200964JapanYūsuke Masago真砂 勇介RightRight2012

Current developmental squad players[edit]

Developmental squad players
No.CountryNameJapanese notationBatsThrowsDraft year
/Debut year
No.CountryNameJapanese notationBatsThrowsDraft year
/Debut year
PitchersCatchers
120JapanShūto Ogata尾形 崇斗LeftRight2017132JapanYūichi Higoshi樋越 優一LeftRight2015
122JapanHiroyuki Kawahara川原 弘之LeftLeft2009Infielders
123JapanYūsuke Itoh伊藤 祐介LeftLeft2012121JapanUkyō Shūtō周東 佑京LeftRight2017
126JapanSeiya Saitoh齋藤 誠哉LeftLeft2014127JapanRichard Sunagawa砂川 リチャードRightRight2017
128JapanAmon Yamashita山下 亜文LeftLeft2014138JapanKōsuke Moriyama森山 孔介RightRight2016
129JapanYūto Nozawa野澤 佑斗LeftRight2015142JapanRyūken Matsumoto松本 龍憲LeftRight2016
130JapanRyūya Kodama児玉 龍也LeftLeft2015Outfielders
134JapanHiroki Hasegawa長谷川 宙輝LeftLeft2016124JapanKazuhiro Kohyama幸山 一大RightRight2014
136JapanShin Nakamura中村 晨RightRight2015125JapanShōgo Ohmoto大本 将吾LeftRight2016
137JapanTakeshi Watanabe渡辺 健史LeftLeft2015135JapanTsubasa Tashiro田城 飛翔LeftRight2016
140JapanYuta Watanabe渡邉 雄大LeftLeft2017139JapanYamato Higurashi日暮 矢麻人LeftLeft2017
143JapanYōsuke Shimabukuro島袋 洋奨LeftLeft2014141JapanRikuya Shimizu清水 陸哉RightRight2016
144CubaOscar Colasオスカー・コラスLeftLeft2017

Former players[edit]

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks era[edit]

Fukuoka Daiei Hawks era[edit]

Nankai Hawks era[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

  • none

Honored numbers[edit]

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[edit]

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

  • Harry Hawk-a yellow colored hawk with Number 100, Harry supports the team as the main mascot. He is the youngest brother of Homer Hawk, the former main mascot.
  • Honey Hawk- a pink colored female hawk, Honey is a girlfriend of Harry, and the cheer leader of Hawks' dancing team, Honeys.
  • Herculy Hawk-an orange based hawk with Number 200, Harcury is Harry's teammate as well as his longstanding rival since Hawk University days.
  • Honky Hawk- a middle aged hawk, Honky is Harry's uncle, and the mayor of Hawks Town. He loves baseball.
  • Helen Hawk- a middle aged female hawk, Helen is Honky's wife. They have eloped during their high school days.
  • Hack Hawk-Harry's nephew. He wears red-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.
  • Rick Hawk- Harry's nephew and middle of Hawk brothers. Rick wears glasses and blue-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.
  • Hock Hawk-Harry's nephew and youngest brother of Huck and Rick. He wears a green-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.

MLB players[edit]

Retired:

Notes[edit]

  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[edit]