The Giants have defeated Chunichi to advance to their first Nippon Series since 2002. Yomiuri will face traditional Pacific League rival Seibu for the title.
Members of the Giants management smiled for a few seconds before going back to serious thoughts, and the players were permitted to take part in a modest on-field celebration. Meanwhile, Giants legend Shigeo Nagashima publicly reminded the troops that the real challenge is ahead of them: "‘You'll want to be told ‘congratulations' after the Series... the challenge is the battle against Seibu starting on November 1″.
Yomiuri-Seibu is a classic Japan Series matchup; I equate to something like a Yankees-Dodgers or Tigers-Cardinals World Series. The two teams also met in 2002, 1994, 1990, 1987, and 1983, with the Lions holding a 3-2 edge. The teams also met in the 50's with Seibu predecessor Nishitetsu beating out the Giants three years in a row from 1956-58.
The first Japan Series I ever saw was the 1994 Series, which was televised in the Chicago area (where I grew up) during the MLB labor dispute that canceled the World Series. I watched every game and it's really what got me started on Japanese baseball.