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Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
I'm wondering how intense the Giants - Tigers rivalry is. Is it like the RedSox - Yankees or Giants - Dodgers rivalries? Do the fans and players hate each other?

I'm interested in knowing the history of these two teams and when the play each other.

If anyone knows of big games in the past, like where both were tied going into the last week of the season, that would be exciting.

I've been to Japanese baseball games (Hawks), but not to Giants or Tigers games.

Thank you.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: seiyu | Posted: May 15, 2003 10:49 PM ]

Yes, it is equivalent to Yankees vs Red Sox. New York vs. Boston. I would say that Giants-Tigers rivalry is more intense. It's Kansai vs. Kanto. It's the clash of the two dominant cultures.

You can say that their hate for each other goes back 400 years since Edo (Tokyo) stripped Osaka of being the de-facto capital of Japan. Kyoto was the true capital since they had the Emperor.

Just after the Tokyo Giants became the first professional baseball team in 1934, the Osaka Tigers were formed the following year. All the teams were still named after the cities they played in pre-1945 Japan.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: May 16, 2003 9:38 AM | HT Fan ]

I'm not really sure about the MLB rivalries you mention, but here is some trivia which may help to illustrate the intensity that surrounds Hanshin vs. Kyojin games.
  • Hanshin vs. Kyojin games at Koshien, Hanshin's home ground, sell out quicker than any other Hanshin game. In the past two seasons, when Hanshin have been performing well, the games have sold out almost instantly.

  • Technically, fans are only allowed to buy 5 tickets per person for any Hanshin home game, except Hanshin vs. Kyojin games where the maximum is two, due to the higher demand

  • Despite his less-than-great track record, young Hanshin pitcher Taiyo Fujita is a perennial fan favourite. This is because, when he turned pro, the Giants were reported to be after him, but he turned them down and joined Hanshin. When asked why he chose Hanshin, he said "Because I want to beat the Giants."

  • The following is a transcript of the Koshien crowd reaction to the results of other Central League games being played on the same day. The results are displayed between innings on the scoreboard at regular intervals throughout the game.

    1. Scoreboard: Yakult 3 Hiroshima 1
      Crowd: ............
    2. Scoreboard: Yokohama 4 Yomiuri 2
      Crowd: Yeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!

  • Hanshin's Hoshino-kantoku is known as being a very intense man at any time. He is also known for constantly being much more intense than normal - near boiling point - whenever there's a Hanshin vs. Kyojin game on the horizon.

After a whole lot of begging and bribing, I got some tickets for a couple of Hanshin vs. Kyojin games this month and next.

Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 16, 2003 5:19 PM | HT Fan ]

Just a few other points:

  • In Central League pennant races that the Giants have won since 1950 (when the two-league system was established), the Tigers have been runners up on 13 occasions - six of them in the 1950s alone.
  • There's that game in 1985 in which then Giants' manager Sadaharu Oh's home run record was under threat from Randy Bass, and they gave him four free passes.
  • Many of the greatest baseball players in Japan have come from Kansai, but often they end up with the Giants because of the money/prestige involved in playing for Japan's premier club.

Some of my observations as a Tigers fan:

  • On TV the spectators behind home plate at Tokyo Dome look so bored, and most of them wear suits for goodness sake. Compare that with the fun-loving Koshien crowd.
  • The Yomiuri Giants' mascot looks like an orange cockroach - definitely not as smart-looking as his Hanshin counterpart.
  • The Yomiuri oendan have no originality - did you notice how they're using the "anthem" of the English soccer World Cup team? My goodness, don't they have any tunes of their own?
  • Rokko Oroshi (the Tigers' fight song, written in 1936) has stood the test of time, and remains one of the most popular songs in Kansai. The jetto fusen (7th inning balloons) tradition began at Koshien.
  • The day after a Hanshin win, Hanshin Department Store sees a surge in sales. After a win against the Giants, it's even greater.

Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: Rocksfan | Posted: May 16, 2003 10:35 PM | CHU Fan ]

- Hanshin vs. Kyojin games at Koshien, Hanshin's home ground, sell out quicker than any other Hanshin game. In the past two seasons, when Hanshin have been performing well, the games have sold out almost instantly.

But isn't that true for all of the Central League teams - the Giants games sell out faster than any other games?

One classic Tigers-Giants game that hasn't been mentioned is the Emporer's Game from 1959. I don't know if it figured in the pennant race at all, but it was the most famous game in NPB history.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: seiyu | Posted: May 17, 2003 1:23 PM ]

I'm a Giants' fan from the early 1970s, but there is no better place to watch a ball game than Koshien Kyujo. So beautiful.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: CFiJ | Posted: May 17, 2003 5:39 PM ]

- But isn't that true for all of the Central League teams - the Giants games sell out faster than any other games?

Yakult-Yomiuri may sell out faster than Yakult-Yokohama, but I'd be willing to bet that Hanshin-Yomiuri sells out even faster than that.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: May 22, 2003 1:37 PM | HT Fan ]

Saw a great one the other day. I went to the Hanshin-Kyojin game at Koshien last Sunday with my mate. Everything less than pleasant that happened he put down to Giants fans. Two guys were fighting: "Dumb Giants fans!"; an apartment caught fire and filled Koshien with smoke: "Must be a Giants fan"; etc. I 'm not that bad (and my mate didn't really mean it, of course), but there are certainly all sorts out there.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: Guest: spam handler | Posted: May 21, 2003 4:57 AM ]

I was wondering what the record between the two are. I know Hanshin has many years ended up in the cellar, but I am just curious.
Re: Hanshin - Yomiuri Rivalry
[ Author: Sara B | Posted: May 24, 2003 7:59 PM | HT Fan ]

It certainly looks to be an incendiary year in the Se-Riigu. Alas, this summer I cannot get to Koshien in person. But what a thrill to see that 7.5 game lead (as of this morning, May 24). A three-game sweep of the Carp does not a pennant make, but clearly Hanshin is playing at a higher level than last season.

By the way, those of you who may also be American torakichis can follow the action live on the Hanshin team website -- click on the "live" button, and you will be connected to a play-by-play description of scoring and outs. Tora tora tora!

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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