Giants Win, Giants Win
by Patrick Newman (Nov 4, 2012)
So, baseball in 2012 has come to an end (aside from the winter leagues and whatever daigaku yakyu remains this autumn). Both MLB's and NPB's Giants came out on top, with Yomiuri's Kyojin-gun closing
out the Nippon Series against the Nippon Ham Fighters on the 3rd. The
San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers last week.
Normally I would write something about the Nippon Series around this
time of year. I watched it this year but was too frequently disrupted to
generate any decent level of insight into the series. So, I point you
to the very capable Jason Coskrey and his article on how the series wrapped up.
In lieu of deep analysis, today I turn to trivia. This year was the
first time that the Giants on both sides of the Pacific won their league
championships, but it's not the first time they've played for titles in
the same season. Of course, Yomiuri is in the Nippon Series often
enough that that's not much of a coincidence. And here they are:
- 2002: San Francisco lost 4-3 to Anaheim; Yomiuri swept Seibu. San Francisco's Tsuyoshi Shinjo became the first Japanese player to appear in a World Series, while Yomiuri's winner featured future MLBers Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara and Hisanori Takahashi.
- 1989: In a World Series remembered mainly for being
disrupted by the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, San Francisco was
swept by their Bay Area rival Oakland A's. On the other side of the
Pacific, Kintetsu took Yomiuri to seven games, but the Giants ultimately
prevailed. Incidentally, former Pittsburgh Pirate Masumi Kuwata was in the prime of his career with Yomiuri at this point.
- 1951: The New York Giants' 1951 WS is remembered
for following Bobby Thompson's Shot Heard 'Round the World, and also for
being Joe Dimaggio's final Series appearance. The Yankees beat the
Giants 4-2. Meanwhile in Japan, Yomiuri played the old Nankai Hawks in
the second Nippon Series. Yomiuri won in five games, their first of 22
Nippon Series wins.