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Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
Most people who follow Pro Yakyu know the story of "The Curse of Colonel Sanders." The Tigers win the 1985 Series, their fans go nuts, they grab a statue of the KFC boss, and chuck it over the Dotonburi Bridge. The good Colonel was never found, and Hanshin hasn't won since. Only when he is found, honored, and returned to his pedestal, will the curse be lifted. Many people have tied this to the Babe Ruth/Red Sox curse.

Now most stories just mention the Colonel and Hanshin, but never give an account of why Tiger fans did this. In some stories the reason why they did this is that they were calling out the names of members of the team. Anyone who looked like a player whose name was called out jumped into the river. When they got to Randy Bass they couldn't find any gaijin to throw in the water. Since Bass had a beard, they thought the bearded Colonel would make a good substitute. Off went the god of poultry and the rest is history.

So what really happened back in '85?

BTW, Colonel Sanders was attacked again during the recent 2002 World Cup and has become something of a pop icon in Japan since his wild Osaka days.
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Dec 9, 2002 11:18 PM | HT Fan ]

You know, they're doing construction work on that very part of the river now (building some kind of a riverside promenade). What with all the dredging going on, they're more likely to find him now than ever.

I suppose with the curse and everything, the guy who threw the Colonel in probably regrets it now. I bet he didn't think he was "starting" a 17-year drought!
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: Sara B | Posted: May 9, 2003 4:11 AM | HT Fan ]

Last summer I dropped into a KFC in Bangkok where I purchased a small plastic Colonel Sanders figurine. I entrusted this figurine to an Osaka friend, and this past December, while on a visit to the Arima spa, we actually did bury the little Colonel on the side of Mount Rokko.

Every good Buddhist believes in the transmigration of souls, so who knows? Neither would I ever want to claim undeserved credit, but as of today (May 8, 2003) I see that the Tigers are in first place...
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: Guest: Suraj | Posted: May 9, 2003 1:56 PM ]

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I've been a Hanshin Fan for too long to be optimistic so early...

It's May. Tigers always do well in April/May. It's their legacy. It's when the d**m HSers take over Koshien for the tourney, causing the Tigers to be on the Road for 3 weeks, that they plummet in the standings. Let's hope that changes this year, but I'm still hesitant to get too optimistic. Especially the way Hoshino drives his pitchers... I think I saw Igawa's arm hanging on by a thread the other day.

About the curse... could it also be complete mismanagement after Bass left/Kakefu retired? In the last 18 years, the only player worth remembering is Wada. Hope this group keeps it up, and Hamanaka/Arias turn it on.
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: Guest: no | Posted: May 11, 2003 1:29 PM ]

- Especially the way Hoshino drives his pitchers. [...]

Could you please tell me what he is doing wrong? I suppose that Hanshin needs to get a player like Petagine this year?

What can Hoshino do with a poor cap as Hanshin? (17,000,000 USD compared to 40, million of Giant.)

In addition, umpire calls a narrow strike zone for the Giants. That makes HT fans upset.
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: fandango | Posted: May 11, 2003 7:29 PM ]

Hmmm, well I think "most" players in Japanese baseball, not just the pitchers, are driven way too hard in training. Even in the off season! Do they "ever" stop training?

By the way, I like Hoshino, the man has heart. He also cares about the Tigers as much as the fans do, which is always a good thing. Gawd, I hope we can keep up the good form, and not let silly errors creep in.
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: May 11, 2003 11:28 PM | HT Fan ]

- Could you please tell me what he is doing wrong?

My quibble is not with his driving pitchers hard (these are professional athletes, who should be pushed hard), but more that last season he didn't make effective use of his bullpen. Several times Hanshin lost games in the 8th and 9th, where (a) we had been winning narrowly up until then, and (b) Hoshino sent his obviously tiring starter out in the later innings to complete the game.

This year, though, he's made very good use of his relievers. There have been a few complete games, but these were where the pitcher was clearly on top, and where the batting line-up had scored a defendable lead (something they didn't do very much last year).

Perhaps someone had a word in Hoshino's ear. Whatever, he's doing very well this season. It's early days yet, but we're looking much more solid than last season.
Re: Hanshin Tigers and Colonel Sanders
[ Author: Guest: no | Posted: May 14, 2003 10:51 AM ]

Well, good point!

Removing a pitcher is not easy, I saw last Sunday. Yamada-kantoku made a bad move when he removed Yamamoto. However, he had a lucky day in the end.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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