Baseball Wiki
Hanshin Tigers
League Central League
Location Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture
Ballpark Hanshin Kōshien Stadium
Year Founded 1935
Nickname(s) Hanshin (阪神), Tigers (タイガース), Tora (トラ, "tiger"), "Mōko" (猛虎, "fierce tiger")
League championships 1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005
Japan Series championships 1985
Former name(s) Ōsaka Tigers (19361940, Nicknamed "Tigers"), Hanshin (19401946), Ōsaka Tigers (19471960, Nicknamed "Hanshin")
Colors white, black and yellow
Logo Design A tiger's head on a red disk outlined in black, reading "Hanshin Tigers"
Mascot TO LUCKY (トラッキー, No. 1985)
LUCKY (ラッキー, No. 1994)
Manager Flag of JapanAkinobu Okada (岡田 彰布, No. 80)
Team colors
Team colors Team colors
Team colors
Team colours

Team colors
Team colors
Team emblem
Team colors
Team colors
Team colors
Team colours

The Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース Hanshin Taigāsu?) are a Nippon Professional Baseball team based in Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, and are in the Central League. Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd., the subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc., owns the Hanshin Tigers directly. It is the sister team of the American baseball team Detroit Tigers and in Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan's 2004 book Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, the Tigers are often portrayed as the Japanese Red Sox. The team's circular logo is very similar to the classic Detroit Tigers logo, except the tiger in the Major Leagues version is orange, whereas Hanshin's is yellow. The Tigers' cap logo is very similar to that of the New York Yankees, and they are often seen with similar pinstriped uniforms.

History of the Hanshin Tigers[]

File:Hanshin Koshien Stadium 2007-21.jpg

Kōshien Stadium (in 2007)

The Hanshin Tigers, one of the oldest professional clubs in Japan, were founded in 1935 with the team being formed in 1936. The team was first called the Ōsaka Tigers. In 1940, amid anti-foreign sentiment, the Tigers changed the name to Hanshin and in 1947 changed the name back to Ōsaka Tigers. The current team name was assumed in 1961.

The Tigers won four titles before the establishment of the two league system in 1950. Since the league was split into the Central League and the Pacific League, the Tigers have won the Central League pennant five times (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005) and the Japan Series once (1985).

When the 2004 Major League Baseball season opened in Japan, the Tigers played an exhibition game against the New York Yankees at the Tokyo Dome on March 29. The Tigers won 11–7.

In each of 2005, 2006 and 2007, over 3 million people attended games hosted by the Tigers. The Tigers were the only one of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams to achieve this.

On January 31, 2007, the Tigers presented uniforms for the 2007 season. For the home uniforms, yellow, one of the colors of the team, was used again.

The home field, Hanshin Kōshien Stadium, is used by high school baseball teams from all over Japan for play in the national championship tournaments in spring and summer.

Famous players in Hanshin Tigers history include Randy Bass, Masayuki Kakefu, Minoru Murayama, Jeff Williams, and many others.

Koshien Stadium[]

The home field of the Tigers, Hanshin Koshien Stadium, is one of three major natural grass baseball stadiums in Japan. The others are the Hiroshima Municipal Ballpark (Hiroshima Toyo Carp), and Skymark Stadium in Kobe (part-time home of the newly-merged Orix Buffaloes). Of the three, only Skymark (Kobe) has grass on the infield as well as in the outfield. There are numerous smaller grass field ballparks around the country; Japanese baseball teams frequently play games in small cities so that local fans can see more of their heroes.

Koshien Stadium is by far the oldest ballpark in Japan; built in 1924, the stadium was once visited by American baseball legend Babe Ruth on a tour of Major League stars in 1934. There is a monument commemorating this visit at the front gates of the park.

Koshien is revered as a "sacred" ballpark, and players traditionally bow before entering and before leaving its hallowed field. The losing team in any high school baseball game played at the ballpark is allowed to scoop up handfuls of Koshien infield dirt, stuffing holy clay clods into tiny plastic bags as hordes of Japanese papparazzi snap photos at arm's length.

Curse of the Colonel[]

Main article: Curse of the Colonel

As with many other underachieving baseball teams, a curse is believed to lurk over the Tigers. After their 1985 Japan Series win, fans celebrated by having people who looked like Tigers players jump into the Dotonbori Canal. According to legend, because none of the fans resembled first baseman Randy Bass, fans grabbed a life-sized statue of Kentucky Fried Chicken mascot Colonel Sanders and threw it into the river (like Bass, the Colonel had a beard and was not Japanese). The statue was never recovered. Thus, the Tigers are said to be doomed never to win the season again until the Colonel is rescued from the river.

In 2003, when the Tigers returned to the Japan Series after 18 years with one of the worst records in the Central League, many KFC outlets in Kōbe and Ōsaka moved their Colonel Sanders statues inside until the series was over to protect them from Tigers fans.


Tigers fans are known as perhaps the most fanatical and dedicated fans in all of Japanese professional baseball. They often outnumber the home team fans at Tigers "away" games. Tigers fans also have a reputation for rough behavior and a willingness to brawl with other fans or with each other, although long fights are rare. A famous Tigers fan tradition is the release, by the fans, of hundreds of air-filled balloons immediately following the 7th inning stretch and the singing of the Tigers' fight song. This tradition is carried-out at all home and away games, except at games against the Yomiuri Giants in the Tokyo Dome due to the Giants' notoriously heavy-handed rules for behavior by visiting fans.

The Tigers-Giants rivalry is considered the national Japanese rivalry, on par with the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball or Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona in Spanish football.

"The Song of the Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガースの歌 Hanshin Tigers no Uta?)", as known as "Rokko Oroshi" (The Wind of Mount Rokko), is a popular song in the Kansai area. It can even be found on karaoke boxes.

Hanshin Tigers no Uta (Rokko Oroshi, romaji)

Rokkō oroshi ni sassō to
Sōten kakeru nichirin no
Seishun no haki uruwashiku
Kagayaku wagana zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers

Tōshi hatsuratsu tatsu ya ima
Nekketsu sude ni teki o tsuku
Jūō no iki takaraka ni
Muteki no warera zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers

Tetsuwan kyōda ikuchi tabi
Kitaete koko ni Kōshien
Shōri ni moyuru eikan wa
Kagayaku warera zo Hanshin Tigers
Ō-ō-ō-ō Hanshin Tigers

The Song of the Hanshin Tigers (The Wind of Mount Rokko)

(An official English version, not a direct translation)

Dashing swiftly through the wind blowin' from Rokko
Like the big sun soaring in the clear blue sky
Mighty spirit of the youth shows the victor's grace
The name that shines in glory "Hanshin Tigers"
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Hanshin Tigers
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!

Powerful hits and skillful pitch achieved a thousand times
Trained with every discipline here at Koshien
Crowned with constant victory glorious, matchless feat
Always proud, invincible "Hanshin Tigers"
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Hanshin Tigers
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!


From the Kosaido Publishing Co., Ltd. (株式会社廣済堂出版 Kabushikigaisha Kōsaidō Shuppan?) guidebook.

Season Place Manager
Former Japanese Baseball League
Spring 1936 Did not place Shigeo Mori (森 茂雄?)
Summer 1936 Did not place Shigeo Mori (森 茂雄?)
Autumn 1936 2nd Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
Spring 1937 2nd Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
Autumn 1937 1st (League Champion) Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
Spring 1938 1st (League Champion) Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
Autumn 1938 2nd Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
1939 2nd Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一?)
1940 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1941 5th Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1942 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
1943 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
1944 1st (League Champion) Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
1945 No league play
1946 3rd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男?)
1947 1st (League Champion) Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
1948 3rd Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
1949 6th Tadashi Wakabayashi (若林 忠志?)
In the Central League
1950 4th Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1951 3rd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1952 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1953 2nd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1954 3rd Kenjiro Matsuki (松木 謙治郎?)
1955 3rd Ichiro Kishi (岸 一郎?)
→ Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男?)
1956 2nd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男?)
1957 2nd Fumio Fujimura (藤村 富美男?)
1958 2nd Yoshio Tanaka (田中 義雄?)
1959 2nd Yoshio Tanaka (田中 義雄?)
1960 3rd Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰?)
1961 4th Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰?)
→ Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1962 1st (League Champion) Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1963 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1964 1st (League Champion) Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1965 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1966 3rd Shigeru Sugishita (杉下 茂?)
→ Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1967 3rd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1968 2nd Sadayoshi Fujimoto (藤本 定義?)
1969 2nd Tsuguo Goto (後藤 次男?)
1970 2nd Minoru Murayama (村山 実?)
1971 5th Minoru Murayama (村山 実?)
1972 2nd Minoru Murayama (村山 実?) (- April 21)
→ Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰?) (April 22 -)
1973 2nd Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰?)
1974 4th Masayasu Kaneda (金田 正泰?)
1975 3rd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1976 2nd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1977 4th Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1978 6th (last place) Tsuguo Goto (後藤 次男?)
1979 4th Don Blasingame (Don Blazer)
1980 5th Don Blasingame (Don Blazer)
Futoshi Nakanishi (中西 太?)
1981 3rd Futoshi Nakanishi (中西 太?)
1982 3rd Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男?)
Takao Sato (佐藤 孝夫?) (June 13 - June 15)
1983 4th Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男?)
1984 4th Motoo Andoh (安藤 統男?)
1985 1st (League Champion)
Japan Series Champion
Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1986 3rd Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1987 6th (last place) Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1988 6th (last place) Minoru Murayama (村山 実?)
1989 5th Minoru Murayama (村山 実?)
1990 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?)
1991 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?)
1992 2nd Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?)
1993 4th Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?)
1994 4th Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?)
1995 6th (last place) Katsuhiro Nakamura (中村 勝広?) (- July 23)
Taira Fujita (藤田 平?) (July 24 -)
1996 6th (last place) Taira Fujita (藤田 平?) (- September 11)
Takeshi Shibata (柴田 猛?) (September 12 -)
1997 5th Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1998 6th (last place) Yoshio Yoshida (吉田 義男?)
1999 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也?)
2000 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也?)
2001 6th (last place) Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也?)
2002 4th Senichi Hoshino (星野 仙一?)
2003 1st (League Champion) Senichi Hoshino (星野 仙一?)
2004 4th Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布?)
2005 1st (League Champion) Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布?)
2006 2nd Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布?)
2007 3rd
Lost in the Climax Series 1st Stage
Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布?)
2008 2nd Akinobu Okada (岡田 彰布?)
2009 4th Akinobu Mayumi (真弓 明信?)
2010 2nd Akinobu Mayumia (真弓 明信?)
2011 4th Akinobu Mayumi (真弓 明信?)
2012 5th Yutaka Wada (和田 豊?)
2013 2nd Yutaka Wada (和田 豊?)

Retired numbers[]

  • Template:Player
  • Template:Player
  • Template:Player

Media relating to the Tigers[]

  • Daily Sports (デイリースポーツ)
  • Nikkan Sports (日刊スポーツ, Kansai edition)
  • Sankei Sports (サンケイスポーツ, Kansai edition)
  • Sports Nippon (スポーツニッポン, Kansai edition)
Broadcasting stations
  • SUN-TV (サンテレビ, TV)
  • Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC, 朝日放送, Radio, TV)
  • Mainichi Broadcasting System, Inc. (MBS, 毎日放送, Radio, TV)
  • Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV, 関西テレビ, TV)
  • Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (ytv, 読売テレビ, TV)
  • Television Osaka, Inc. (TVO, テレビ大阪, TV)

See also[]

  • Central League
  • Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group - Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

External links[]