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Chiba Lotte Marines
File:Chibalottemarineslogo.jpg
League Pacific League
Location Chiba
Ballpark Chiba Marine Stadium
Year Founded 1950
Nickname(s) Lotte (ロッテ), Marines (マリーンズ), Kamome (鴎, gull)
League championships 1950, 1960, 1970, 1974, 2005
Japan Series championships 1950, 1974, 2005
Former name(s) Mainichi Orions (1950-1957), Mainichi Daimai Orions (1958-1963), Tokyo Orions (1964-1968), Lotte Orions (1969-1991)
Colors Red and black
Manager Bobby Valentine
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The Chiba Lotte Marines (千葉ロッテマリーンズ Chiba Rotte Marīnzu?) are a professional baseball team in Japan's Pacific League, based in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, in the Kantō region.

History[]

The Chiba Lotte Marines franchise began in 1950 with the birth of the Pacific League. The Marines were founded as the Mainichi Orions, playing in Kōrakuen Stadium. They won the inaugural Japan Series in 1950. In 1958, after merging with the Daiei Unions, they were renamed the Daimai Orions, and moved into Tokyo Stadium in 1962. The team became the Tokyo Orions in 1964 and the Lotte Orions in 1969. In 1973, with Tokyo Stadium due to be demolished, they moved north to Sendai, and played most of their games in Miyagi Stadium. and finally, since 1992, they have been the Chiba Lotte Marines. The franchise was slow to duplicate its initial success: the Orions made the Japan Series in 1960 and 1970, only to lose both years. In 1974, they beat the Chunichi Dragons, becoming the first Pacific League team to win the Series in 10 years as the Yomiuri Giants had claimed the prior nine titles behind the Oh-Nagashima attack. After that the team failed to reach the Japan Series again until 2005. They had started the 2005 season in first place, then fell behind the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks as the year progressed, but came back to beat SoftBank 3 games to 2 in the Pacific League championship. In the final game, they trailed 2-1 entering the 8th inning. After a thirty-one year absence, the team returned to the Japan Series for the first time as the Chiba Lotte Marines, after 14 seasons with that name. In a one-sided series the Marines swept the more popular Hanshin Tigers in four games, including scoring ten runs in each of the first three games. The apparent ease with which the Marines defeated the Tigers added fuel to the ongoing debate concerning the need for a playoff system in the Central League, which was finally added in 2007. The Marines went on to defeat South Korea's Samsung Lions in the finals of the Konami Cup Championships.

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