Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (福岡ソフトバンクホークス, Fukuoka Sofutobanku Hōkusu) are a Japanese professional baseball team based in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture. They compete in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) as a member of the Pacific League.

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Softbank hawks logo.png SoftBank Hawks insignia.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
LeagueNippon Professional Baseball
Pacific League (1950–present)
Japanese Baseball League (1938–1949)
LocationChūō-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
BallparkFukuoka PayPay Dome
Year founded1938
Nickname(s)Taka (鷹, hawk)
Japanese Baseball League titles2 (1946, 1948)
Pacific League championships19 (1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1973, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020)
Japan Series championships11 (1959, 1964, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Former name(s)
  • Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2005–present)
  • Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (1989–2004)
  • Nankai Hawks (1947–1988)
  • Kinki Great Ring (1946–1947)
  • Kinki Nippon Club (1944–1945)
  • Nankai Club (1938–1944)
Former ballparks
ColorsYellow, Black
   
MascotHarry Hawk and the Hawk Family
Playoff berths16 (1973, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
OwnershipMasayoshi Son
ManagementSoftBank Group
ManagerKimiyasu Kudo
General ManagerSugihiko Mikasa
Uniforms
SoBa Hawks Uniforms.PNG

The team was formerly known as the Nankai Hawks and was based in Osaka. In 1988, Daiei bought the team from Osaka's Nankai Electric Railway Co., and its headquarters were moved to Fukuoka (which had been without NPB baseball since the Lions departed in 1979). The team subsequently became known as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks until 2005, when they were purchased by SoftBank. The franchise has won 11 Japan Series championships and 19 Pacific League titles.

HistoryEdit

Nankai Electric Railway Company ownership (1938–1988)Edit

The franchise's original name was Nankai when it joined the Japanese Baseball League (JBL) in the fall of 1938, with the name originating with the Nankai Electric Railway Co., which owned the team at the time. The team's name was changed to Kinki Nippon[1] in mid-1944 as it received partial sponsorship from Kinki Nippon Railway. After the 1945 hiatus in the JBL due to the Greater East Asia War, in 1946 the team's name was changed to Kinki Great Ring[2] and the team won the JBL championship. Throughout the name changes the club underwent between 1938 and 1946, Nankai Electric Railway Co. (in one form or another) maintained ownership of the franchise.

In mid-1947, Nankai settled upon its current moniker. The Nankai Hawks (南海ホークス). Under player-manager Kazuto Tsuruoka (known as Kazuto Yamamoto from 1946 to 1958)[3] they became one of the most successful franchises through the first two decades of the Pacific League's existence, taking two Japan Series championships and 10 Pacific League pennants. (Kazuto managed the team from 1946 to 1968, becoming the full-time manager after his retirement as a player in 1952.)[3][4]

In 1964, the Hawks team sent pitching prospect Masanori Murakami and two other young players to the San Francisco Giants single-A team Fresno as a baseball "exchange student". On September 1 of that year Murakami became the first Japanese player to play in Major League Baseball[5] when he appeared on the mound for the San Francisco Giants. Disputes over the rights to his contract eventually led to the 1967 United States – Japanese Player Contract Agreement. Murakami returned to the Hawks in 1966, playing for them through 1974. He contributed to the team's Pacific League championship in 1973, their last under Nankai's ownership.

The team fell on hard times between 1978 and 1988, finishing no better than 4th place out of the 6 teams in the Pacific League in any year in the period. The team witnessed its fan base diminish as a result of the prolonged period of poor play, with attendance dropping and the club dealing with reduced profits.

The change in the club's financial performance led Nankai Electric Railway to question the value of maintaining ownership, even after considering the value the team represented as an advertising tool. The company's board of directors and union leadership put pressure on Den Kawakatsu, then-president of Nankai Railway and primary owner of the team, to sell the team, which he refused to do. However, Mr. Kawakatsu, who represented the most ardent supporter of Nankai's ownership of the Hawks, died early in the 1988 season, and the team was sold to the Daiei Corporation to become the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks after the 1988 season.

Katsuya Nomura, Mutsuo Minagawa, Hiromitsu Kadota, and Chusuke Kizuka are among the more notable franchise players that were active during the Nankai era.

Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (1988–2004)Edit

After the franchise was acquired by department store chain Daiei, Inc., the Hawks were flush with new funds and a new home city in Fukuoka, the capital of the eponymous prefecture on Kyushu Island, and were no longer competing with the Hanshin Tigers, Kintetsu Buffaloes or even the by-then rechristened Orix Braves (later the Orix Blue Wave, now the Orix Buffaloes) for attention in the Osaka area. The city had been without professional baseball since the departure of the Crown Lighter Lions (today's Saitama Seibu Lions) in 1978. However, in spite of those efforts of the new ownership, the Hawks still were usually in the cellar of the Pacific League, and continued to be at the bottom half of the league until 1997.

The Hawks front office adopted a strategy of drafting and developing younger players, supplemented by free agent signings, a policy overseen by team president Ryuzo Setoyama and his aides. Setoyama's most brilliant moves were the hiring of home run king Sadaharu Oh in 1995 to take the reins of manager, a title he would hold until 2008 before he moved into the general manager's position. Oh replaced then-manager Rikuo Nemoto, who was named team president and held that position until his death in 1999. Also tapped was Akira Ishikawa, a little-known former player, who was tasked with bringing in talented amateurs. He brought in the likes of current Hanshin Tigers catcher Kenji Johjima, Kazumi Saitoh, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, future Chicago White Sox and current Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Tadahito Iguchi, shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, and future team captain Hiroki Kokubo.

Supplementing the amateur signings were some free-agent acquisitions, most of them former Seibu stars from their 1980s championship teams. Among them were infielder Hiromichi Ishige, immensely popular outfielder (and Hawks manager from 2008 to 2014, replacing Oh in that capacity) Koji Akiyama, and ace left-handed pitcher and current manager Kimiyasu Kudoh.

These moves (and a few unpopular cost-cutting measures) helped to make the Hawks gradually more competitive with each passing year, and in 1999, the team finally broke through. That season, Daiei made their first Japan Series appearance since 1973 (and first as a Fukuoka team), and defeated the Chunichi Dragons in five games, giving them their first championship since 1964. Kudoh was dominant in his Game 1 start (complete game, 13 strikeouts), and Akiyama was named Series MVP.

The following year, the Hawks again made the Japan Series, but this time lost to the powerful Yomiuri Giants in six games. Despite the shaky financial ground that Daiei was on thanks to their rampant expansion in bubble-era Japan, the team continued to be competitive. The team won their second Japan Series in five years, defeating the popular Hanshin Tigers in seven games in the 2003 Japan Series, an exciting series in which the home team won every game.

Home run record controversyEdit

In 2001, American Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, playing for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, hit 55 home runs with several games left, equaling Hawks' manager Sadaharu Oh's single-season home run record. The Buffaloes played a weekend series against the Oh-managed Hawks late in the season, and Rhodes was intentionally walked during each at-bat of the series. Video footage showed Hawks' catcher Kenji Johjima grinning as he caught the intentional balls. Oh denied any involvement and Hawks battery coach Yoshiharu Wakana stated that the pitchers acted on his orders, saying, "It would be distasteful to see a foreign player break Oh's record." Rhodes completed the season with 55 home runs. League commissioner Hiromori Kawashima denounced the Hawks' behavior as "unsportsmanlike". Hawks pitcher Keisaburo Tanoue went on record saying that he wanted to throw strikes to Rhodes and felt bad about the situation.[6][7]

In 2002, Venezuelan Alex Cabrera hit 55 home runs with five games left in the season, with several of those to be played against Oh's Hawks. Oh told his pitchers to throw strikes to Cabrera, but most of them ignored his order and threw balls well away from the plate. After the game, Oh stated, "If you're going to break the record, you should do it by more than one. Do it by a lot."[7] In the wake of the most recent incident involving Cabrera, ESPN listed Oh's single-season home run record as #2 on its list of "The Phoniest Records in Sports".[8]

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2005–present)Edit

Daiei Inc had been under financial pressure to sell its 60% stake in the team over the previous few years, with reports in 2003 suggesting the company would sell the team and the Fukuoka Dome. Daiei attempted to hold on to the team and held discussions with its primary lenders, including UFJ Bank, to see if it could find a way to retain the team, but ultimately the sale went through to SoftBank in January 2005.

The Hawks continued their winning ways after the sale of the team to SoftBank. Following the sale, the Hawks represented one of the richest teams in Japan, with a player core still intact from the last years of the Daiei era. Particularly strong was the team's starting pitching behind Saitoh, Tsuyoshi Wada, Nagisa Arakaki, and Toshiya Sugiuchi. In 2005, the Hawks finished in first place during the regular season, but fell to the eventual Japan Series champions, the Chiba Lotte Marines in the second stage of the Climax Series. In 2006, a dramatic pennant race led to an even more exciting playoff run that ended in the Sapporo Dome at the hands of the eventual Japan Series Champions, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Team manager Sadaharu Oh missed most of the 2006 season due to stomach cancer.

The Hawks' 2007 season was plagued by injuries and general ineffectiveness and inconsistency, leading to another 3rd-place finish and first-stage exit in the playoffs at the hands of the Marines. In 2008, though various injuries still affected the Hawks' bench (especially the bullpen), the club claimed its first Interleague title in June, winning a tiebreaker against the Hanshin Tigers. However, injuries caught up with them in the final month of the season, and the Hawks finished in last place with a 54–74–2 record. The finish represented their worst since 1996. Oh announced his retirement at the end of the season, and former Hawk and fan favorite Koji Akiyama was named as his successor.

In 2009, the team cracked the playoffs once again on the backs of breakout seasons from surging starting pitcher D. J. Houlton, outfielder Yuya Hasegawa, Rookie of the Year Tadashi Settsu and another stellar season from ace Sugiuchi. However, the team still was unable to get out of the first stage, as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles ousted the Hawks in a 2-game sweep.

Team of the 2010sEdit

The Hawks finally reclaimed the Pacific League regular season title in 2010 after a seven-year wait. The title came after a see-saw season in which the team recovered several times after extended losing streaks. Starting pitcher Wada, back from injury through much of the previous two seasons, was, along with fellow ace Sugiuchi, at his best. Wada set career highs in wins and games started. The reliable "SBM" relieving trio of Settsu, Brian Falkenborg, and Mahara limited opponent offenses late in games. The bullpen also benefited from the emergence of Keisuke Kattoh and Masahiko Morifuku, with the latter blossoming in the second half of the season.

The Hawks offense was largely composed of role players who seemed to take turns having big games and off days, and it was the team's speed that drove the team as the Hawks led the league in stolen bases in the regular season with 148, well ahead of their nearest challenger, who had 116. Yuichi Honda and Kawasaki combined to steal 89 bases. However, despite putting forward a strong group, the Hawks failed to make it to the Japan Series, losing to the Lotte Marines in six games in the Climax Series despite having a 3–1 series lead.

SoftBank won the Pacific League again in 2011, with a dominating season on all fronts. The offense was bolstered further by the acquisition of former Yokohama BayStars outfielder Seiichi Uchikawa, who led the league in batting in 2011. Pitching from Sugiuchi, Wada and an excellent bounce-back season from Houlton also helped propel the team to the best record in NPB. After sweeping the Saitama Seibu Lions in the Pacific League Climax Series, the Hawks took on the Chunichi Dragons to win the Japan Series, a rematch of the 1999 Japan Series. The Dragons pushed SoftBank to the full seven games, but the Hawks shut out the Dragons 3–0 in the seventh game to win their first Japan Series since 2003.

The 2012 season started with losses for the Hawks. During the off season, they lost their star starters Tsuyoshi Wada (to the Baltimore Orioles), Toshiya Sugiuchi and D.J. Houlton (to Yomiuri Giants) through free agency. All star shortstop Munenori Kawasaki also left the team for the Seattle Mariners. Closer Takahiro Mahara would sit out the season through injury. To compensate for these losses, the team acquired outfielder Wily Mo Peña and starter Brad Penny from MLB, in addition to starter Kazuyuki Hoashi from Seibu Lions. However, of the 3 major signings, only Peña made regular contributions. Hoashi and Penny made two starts combined in 2012, as Hoashi missed almost the entire season with an injury and Penny was released.

The team had to deal with their off season losses to their pitching staff from within the organization. Settsu was elevated to the team's ace, while young pitchers such as Kenji Otonari and Hiroki Yamada were given bigger roles. Nagisa Arakaki returned from long-term injury to join the rotation. However, new closer Falkenborg had to sit out most of the season through injury, eventually handing over the role to Morifuku. Arakaki could not regain his former numbers. In the end, the losses could not be mitigated. The team could only finish third in the Pacific League regular season and eventually lost out to the Nippon Ham Fighters in the P.L. Climax Series Final Stage. The bright spark of the season came from rookie starter Shota Takeda, who went 8–1 with an ERA of 1.07.

In 2014 the Hawks won the Japan Series in five games over the Hanshin Tigers. Manager Koji Akiyama retired after the season, and the team named his former teammate Kimiyasu Kudoh to succeed him. Under Kudoh's stewardship, SoftBank won for a second consecutive season in 2015 again in five games, this time over the Yakult Swallows. Outfielder Yuki Yanagita won the Pacific League MVP and the batting title.[citation needed] It marked the first time since the Seibu Lions won three in a row from 1990 to 1992 that a team had won consecutive Japan Series championships.

After falling to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2016, the Hawks won the 2017 Japan Series in six games over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, in a series where the Hawks led 3–0, but were almost pushed to a 7th game.[9] The following year the Hawks also won the 2018 Japan Series against the Hiroshima Carp in six games, making it back to back titles for a second time, and four out of the last five; the next year, they became the first team to win three straight Japan Series titles since the Seibu Lions did it from 1990 to 1992, by sweeping the Yomiuri Giants. In 2020, the Hawks won the 2020 Japan Series, again in four games against the Yomiuri Giants, becoming the first team to win more than three consecutive Japan Series titles since the Yomiuri Giants won the last of nine consecutive titles in 1973.

Players of noteEdit

First squad Second squad

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

Head coach
Pitching
Hitting
Infield defense & base running
Outfield defense & base running
Battery
Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

Pitching
Hitting
Infield defense & base running
Outfield defense & base running
Battery
Rehabilitation coach
Development Players
Updated August 16, 2021 All NPB rosters


Former playersEdit

Hawks former playersEdit

Hawks former players
DS FS Former players Country YR Era Pos Note
1938 1942 Yoshiyuki Iwamoto   Japan 5 Nankai OF Pacific League Best Nine Award (1950,1951)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1939 1952 Kazuto Tsuruoka   Japan 4 Nankai IF JBL & Pacific League MVP Award (1946,1948,1951)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1942 1948 Takehiko Bessho   Japan 7 Nankai P Eiji Sawamura Award (1947)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1949 1953 Kazuhiro Kuroda   Japan 5 Nankai OF
1950 1959 Kazuo Kageyama   Japan 10 Nankai 3B Pacific League Best Nine Award (1951,1952)
1954 1971 Mutsuo Minagawa   Japan 18 Nankai P Pacific League Best Nine Award (1968)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1954 1977 Katsuya Nomura   Japan 24 Nankai C NPB Triple Crown Award (1965)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1955 1977 Yoshinori Hirose   Japan 23 Nankai SS Pacific League Best Nine Award (1963-1965)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1956 1968 Yoshio Anabuki   Japan 13 Nankai OF
1958 1970 Tadashi Sugiura   Japan 13 Nankai P Pacific League MVP Award (1959)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1960 1965 Joe Stanka   United States 6 Nankai P Pacific League Best Nine Award (1964)
Japan Series MVP (1964)
1961 1963 Buddy Peterson   United States 3 Nankai SS Former MLB player.
NPB All-Star Series (1962,1963)
1962 1967 Kent Hadley   United States 6 Nankai 1B
1962
& 1966
1963
& 1974
Masanori Murakami   Japan 17 Nankai P First Asian MLB player.
San Francisco Giants (19641965)
1964 1964 Johnny Logan   United States 1 Nankai SS Former MLB player.
1967 1970 Toshio Yanagida   Japan 4 Nankai OF NPB All-Star Series (1968)
1968 1968 Marty Keough   United States 1 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1969 1969 Lee Thomas   United States 1 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1970 1977 Don Blasingame   United States 8 Nankai IF
1970 1973 Clarence Jones   United States 4 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
Pacific League Home runs Leader (1974,1976)
1970
& 1991
1988
& 1992
Hiromitsu Kadota   Japan 21 Nankai/Daiei OF Pacific League MVP Award (1988)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1970 1972 Takashi Teraoka   Japan 3 Nankai OF
1971 1971 Thad Tillotson   United States 1 Nankai P
1972 1975 Takenori Emoto   Japan 4 Nankai P
1972 1973 Willie Smith   United States 2 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1973 1976 Hiroaki Fukushi   Japan 4 Nankai P Pacific League Winning percentage Leader (1980)
1974 1974 Wes Parker   United States 1 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
MLB Gold Glove Award (1967–1972)
1975 1985 Hiromasa Arai   Japan 11 Nankai OF Pacific League Batting Leader (1987)
Pacific League Best Nine Award (1979,1982,1986,1987)
1975 1975 Jim Nettles   United States 1 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1976 1976 Don Buford   United States 1 Nankai IF Pacific League Best Nine Award (1974)
1976 1977 Yutaka Enatsu   Japan 2 Nankai P Eiji Sawamura Award (1968)
Pacific League Saves Leader (1977,1979–1983)
1976 1976 Tom Robson   United States 1 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
1977 1977 Gail Hopkins   United States 1 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
1977 1977 Jack Pierce   United States 1 Nankai 1B Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1978 1981 Carlos May   United States 4 Nankai OF
1978 1985 Mitsuo Tateishi   Japan 8 Nankai IF
1978 1978 Bobby Tolan   United States 1 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1979 1980 Frank Ortenzio   United States 2 Nankai OF
1981 1982 Jim Tyrone   United States 2 Nankai OF Former MLB player.
1982 1998 Hiroshi Fujimoto   Japan 17 Nankai/Daiei 3B
1983 1996 Hiroshi Ogawa   Japan 14 Nankai/Daiei SS
1984 1985 Jeff Doyle   United States 2 Nankai 2B Former MLB player.
Pacific League Home runs Leader (1974,1976)
1984 1995 Shinichi Katoh   Japan 12 Nankai/Daiei P
1984 1986 Chris Nyman   United States 3 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
1984 1993 Makoto Sasaki   Japan 10 Nankai/Daiei OF Pacific League Batting Leader (1992)
Pacific League Best Nine Award (1991–1995,1997)
1986 1986 Danny Goodwin   United States 1 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
1986 1987 Dave Hostetler   United States 2 Nankai 1B Former MLB player.
1987 1987 Steve Hammond   United States 1 Nankai OF
1987 1987 Hideji Katoh   Japan 1 Nankai OF Pacific League Batting Leader (1973,1979)
Pacific League RBI leader (1975-1976 ,1979)
1987 1996 Hiroshi Moriwaki   Japan 10 Nankai/Daiei IF
1988 1990 Tony Bernazard   Puerto Rico 3 Nankai/Daiei 2B
1988 2006 Noriyoshi Omichi   Japan 19 Nankai/Daiei
/SoftBank
OF NPB All-Star Series (2001,2004)
1988
& 1993
1988
& 1993
George Wright   United States 2 Nankai/Daiei OF
1988 1998 Toyohiko Yoshida   Japan 11 Nankai/Daiei P Pacific League Best Battery Award (1994)
1988 2000 Koichiro Yoshinaga   Japan 13 Nankai/Daiei C Pacific League Best Nine Award (1994,1996)
1989 1990 Willie Upshaw   United States 2 Daiei 1B
1990 1993 Toshifumi Baba   Japan 4 Daiei 3B Mitsui Golden Glove Award (1995,1996)
1990 1990 Goose Gossage   United States 1 Daiei P National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
1990 2000 Takayuki Nishijima   Japan 11 Daiei OF
1990 2007 Keisaburo Tanoue   Japan 18 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Winning percentage Leader (2001)
1990 1990 Jim Wilson   United States 2 Daiei 1B Former MLB player.
1991 1997 Yutaka Ashikaga   Japan 7 Daiei P
1991 2003 Koji Bonishi   Japan 13 Daiei C
1991 1996 Takayoshi Eguchi   Japan 6 Daiei P
1991 1992 Mike Laga   United States 2 Daiei 1B Former MLB player.
1991
& 2009
2009
& 2010
Arihito Muramatsu   Japan 14 Daiei/SoftBank OF Pacific League Stolen bases Leader (1996)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2003,2004)
1991 1995 Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi   Japan 5 Daiei P Central League The most wins champion (2005)
1991 1993 Lee Tunnell   United States 3 Daiei P
1991 1992 Eddie Williams   United States 2 Daiei 3B Former MLB player.
1992 2001 Chihiro Hamana   Japan 10 Daiei SS NPB All-Star Series (1992,1995,1996)
1992 1992 Hisao Niura   Japan 2 Daiei P Central League ERA champion (1977, 1978)
Central League Best Nine Award (1978)
1992 1995 Kazuya Tabata   Japan 4 Daiei P
1992 2002 Kenichi Wakatabe   Japan 11 Daiei P Pacific League Rookie Special Award (1992)
NPB All-Star Series (2002)
1992 1992 Boomer Wells   United States 1 Daiei 1B Pacific League Batting Leader (1984,1989)
Pacific League RBI Leader (1984,1987,1989,1992)
1993 1995 Shinichi Sato   Japan 3 Daiei OF
1994 2002 Koji Akiyama   Japan 9 Daiei OF Pacific League Home runs Leader (1987)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1994
& 2007
2003
& 2012
Hiroki Kokubo   Japan 16 Daiei/SoftBank IF Pacific League Home runs Leader (1995)
Pacific League RBI Leader (1997)
1994 1997 Hiromi Matsunaga   Japan 4 Daiei IF Pacific League Stolen bases Leader (1985)
Pacific League Best Nine Award (1988-1991,1994)
1994 1995 Kevin Reimer   United States 2 Daiei OF
1994 1995 Bobby Thigpen   United States 2 Daiei P Former MLB single season saves holder.
1994 1994 Brian Traxler   United States 1 Daiei 1B
1994 1997 Tomoyuki Uchiyama   Japan 4 Daiei P
1994 2001 Hidekazu Watanabe   Japan 8 Daiei P Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award (1994)
1994 2006 Shuji Yoshida   Japan 13 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Holds Leader (1998,2001)
1994 2006 Shintaro Yoshitake   Japan 13 Daiei/SoftBank P NPB All-Star Series (2005)
1995 2000 Masao Fujii   Japan 6 Daiei P Pacific League Holds Leader (1999)
His number 15 is honored by the Hawks.
1995 1996 Hiromichi Ishige   Japan 2 Daiei SS Pacific League Best Nine Award (1981-1987,1992,1993)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (1981-1983,1985-1988,1991,1993)
1995 2005 Kenji Johjima   Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank C Former MLB player.
Pacific League MVP Award (2003)
1995 1999 Kimiyasu Kudo   Japan 5 Daiei P Pacific League ERA Champion (1985,1987,1993,1999)
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Member
1995 1995 Kevin Mitchell   United States 1 Daiei OF Former MLB player.
Silver Slugger Award (1989)
1996 1997 Masashi Arikura   Japan 2 Daiei P
1996 1996 Rodney Bolton   United States 1 Daiei P Former MLB player.
1996 1999 Ryo Kawano   Japan 4 Daiei 1B
1996 1997 José Núñez   Dominican Republic 2 Daiei P
1996 2010 Kazumi Saito   Japan 15 Daiei/SoftBank P Eiji Sawamura Award (2003,2006)
NPB Triple Crown (2006)
1996 2002 Masahiro Sakumoto   Japan 7 Daiei P
1996 1998 Kazuhiro Takeda   Japan 3 Daiei P Pacific League The most wins champion (1998)
Pacific League Saves Leader (1991)
1997 2004 Tadahito Iguchi   Japan 8 Daiei IF Former MLB player.
Pacific League Stolen bases Leader (2001,2003)
1997 2007 Shinji Kurano   Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank P
1997 2015 Nobuhiko Matsunaka   Japan 19 Daiei/SoftBank 1B NPB Triple Crown Award (2004)
Pacific League MVP Award (2000,2004)
1997 1997 Rod Nichols   United States 1 Daiei P Former MLB player.
1997 2006 Katsunori Okamoto   Japan 10 Daiei/SoftBank P
1997 1997 Greg Pirkl   United States 1 Daiei 1B Former MLB player.
1997 2011 Hiroshi Shibahara   Japan 15 Daiei/SoftBank OF Pacific League Best Nine Award (1998,2000)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2000,2001,2003)
1997 1997 Fujio Tamura   Japan 1 Daiei C Pacific League Best Nine Award (1993)
1997 1997 David West   United States 1 Daiei P
1998 1998 Ryan Hancock   United States 1 Daiei P
1998 1998 Luis Lopez   United States 1 Daiei 1B Central League RBI Leader (1996,1997)
Central League Hitting Leader (1997)
1998 2001 Tatsuji Nishimura   Japan 4 Daiei P NPB Comeback Player of the Year Award (1998)
1998 2009 Takayuki Shinohara   Japan 12 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Winning percentage Leader (1999)
1998 1998 Ryan Thompson   United States 1 Daiei OF
1998 1998 Brian Williams   United States 1 Daiei P Former MLB player.
1999 2005 Yudai Deguchi   Japan 7 Daiei/SoftBank OF
1999 2000 Melvin Nieves   Puerto Rico 2 Daiei OF
1999 2010 Akio Mizuta   Japan 12 Daiei/SoftBank P
1999 2012 Shinsuke Ogura   Japan 14 Daiei/SoftBank P
1999 2002 Rodney Pedraza   United States 4 Daiei P Pacific League Saves Leader (2000,2001)
1999 2006 Yusuke Torigoe   Japan 8 Daiei/SoftBank IF
1999 2008 Ryo Yoshimoto   Japan 10 Daiei/SoftBank IF
2000 2000 Brian Banks   United States 1 Daiei 1B
2000 2009 Naoki Matoba   Japan 10 Daiei/SoftBank C Pacific League Best Battery Award (2006)
2000 2002 Brady Raggio   United States 3 Daiei P
2000 2000 Matt Randel   United States 1 Daiei P
2001 2010 Hisao Arakane   Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank OF
2001 2001 Chris Haney   United States 1 Daiei P
2001 2004 Pedro Valdés   Puerto Rico 4 Daiei OF He scored a 104 RBIs. (2003)
2001 2008 Michinao Yamamura   Japan 8 Daiei/SoftBank P
2001 2013 Katsuki Yamazaki   Japan 13 Daiei/SoftBank C
2002 2002 Morgan Burkhart   United States 1 Daiei 1B
2002 2002 Carlos Castillo   United States 1 Daiei P Former MLB player.
2002 2010 Shotaro Ide   Japan 9 Daiei/SoftBank OF
2002 2012 Yasushi Kamiuchi   Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank P
2002 2011 Toshiya Sugiuchi   Japan 10 Daiei/SoftBank P Eiji Sawamura Award (2005)
Pacific League MVP Award (2005)
2002
& 2013
2006
& 2018
Hayato Terahara   Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank P
2002 2005 Masanori Taguchi   Japan 4 Daiei/SoftBank C
2003 2014 Nagisa Arakaki   Japan 12 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Strikeouts Leader (2004)
2003 2004 Brandon Knight   United States 2 Daiei P
2003 2003 Bryant Nelson   United States 1 Daiei 2B
2003 2003 Matt Skrmetta   United States 1 Daiei P
2003 2003 Chen Wen-bin   Taiwan 1 Daiei OF
2003 2006 Julio Zuleta   Panama 4 Daiei/SoftBank 1B Pacific League Best Nine Award (2005)
2004 2005 Lindsay Gulin   United States 2 Daiei/SoftBank P
2004
& 2012
2010
& 2016
Keisuke Kaneko   Japan 12 Daiei/SoftBank IF
2004 2018 Ryuma Kidokoro   Japan 15 Daiei/SoftBank OF
2004 2012 Takahiro Mahara   Japan 9 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Saves Leader (2007)
2004 2004 Héctor Mercado   Puerto Rico 1 Daiei P Former MLB player.
2004 2010 Koji Mise   Japan 7 Daiei/SoftBank P Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award (2004)
Pacific League Saves Leader (2004)
2004 2006 Katsuhiko Miyaji   Japan 3 Daiei/SoftBank OF Pacific League Best Nine Award (2005)
2004 2004 Brad Voyles   United States 1 Daiei P
2005 2005 Tony Batista   Dominican Republic 1 SoftBank 3B Former MLB player.
2005 2006 Jolbert Cabrera   Colombia 2 SoftBank 2B Former MLB player.
2005 2019 Tomoaki Egawa   Japan 15 SoftBank OF
2005 2005 Pedro Feliciano   Puerto Rico 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2005 2006 Tatsuya Ide   Japan 2 SoftBank OF Mitsui Golden Glove Award (1997, 2002)
NPB All-Star Series (1997,2001)
2005 2008 Naoyuki Ohmura   Japan 4 SoftBank OF Pacific League Hitting Leader (2006)
2015 2011 Toru Takahashi   Japan 7 SoftBank P
2006 2010 Yuta Arakawa   Japan 5 SoftBank C
2006 2006 D. J. Carrasco   United States 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2006 2013 Yoshiaki Fujioka   Japan 8 SoftBank P
2006 2018 Yuichi Honda   Japan 13 SoftBank 2B Pacific League Stolen bases Leader (2010,2011)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2011‐2012)
2006 2013 Keisuke Katto   Japan 8 SoftBank P
2006 2011 Yusuke Kosai   Japan 6 SoftBank OF
2006 2009 Michitaka Nishiyama   Japan 4 SoftBank P
2006 2013 Hidenori Tanoue   Japan 8 SoftBank C Pacific League Best Nine Award (2009)
2006 2016 Akihiro Yanase   Japan 11 SoftBank P
2006 2013 Yang Yao-hsun   Taiwan 8 SoftBank P
2007 2007 Brian Buchanan   United States 1 SoftBank OF Former MLB player.
2007 2019 Shuhei Fukuda   Japan 13 SoftBank OF Currently with Chiba Lotte Marines
2007 2008 Rick Guttormson   United States 2 SoftBank P
2007 2007 Adam Hyzdu   United States 1 SoftBank OF
2007 2016 Masahiko Morifuku   Japan 10 SoftBank P NPB All-Star Series (2011.2012)
2007 2008 C. J. Nitkowski   United States 2 SoftBank P
2007 2017 Kenji Otonari   Japan 11 SoftBank P NPB All-Star Series (2012)
2007
& 2014
2008
& 2015
Jason Standridge   United States 4 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2007 2012 Hitoshi Tamura   Japan 6 SoftBank OF Pacific League Best Nine Award (2010)
2007 2017 Hiroki Yamada   Japan 11 SoftBank P
2008 2011 D. J. Houlton   United States 4 SoftBank P Pacific League The Most Wins Champion (2011)
2008 2008 Tetsuya Matoyama   Japan 1 SoftBank C
2008 2015 Shota Oba   Japan 8 SoftBank P
2008 2008 Jeremy Powell   United States 1 SoftBank P
2008 2008 Michael Restovich   United States 1 SoftBank OF
2009 2009 Chris Aguila   United States 1 SoftBank OF
2009 2013 Brian Falkenborg   United States 4 SoftBank P Pacific League Best relief pitcher (2010)
2009 2009 Justin Germano   United States 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2009 2009 Kameron Loe   United States 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2009 2015 Kim Mu-young   South Korea 7 SoftBank P
2009 2021 Akira Niho   Japan 13 SoftBank P Currently with Hanshin Tigers
2009 2011 José Ortiz   Dominican Republic 3 SoftBank 2B
2009 2018 Tadashi Settsu   Japan 10 SoftBank P Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award (2009)
Eiji Sawamura Award (2012)
2009 2012 Soichiro Tateoka   Japan 4 SoftBank OF Currently with Yomiuri Giants
2009 2016 Shingo Tatsumi   Japan 8 SoftBank P
2010 2010 Lee Bum-ho   South Korea 1 SoftBank 3B
2010 2010 J. D. Durbin   United States 1 SoftBank P
2010 2013 Takehito Kanazawa   Japan 4 SoftBank P
2010 2010 Roberto Petagine   Venezuela 1 SoftBank 1B Central League Home runs Leader (1999,2001)
Central League MVP Award (2001)
2010 2011 Masaumi Shimizu   Japan 2 SoftBank C
2010 2012 Teruaki Yoshikawa   Japan 3 SoftBank P
2011 2016 Edison Barrios   Venezuela 6 SoftBank P
2011 2011 Yhency Brazobán   Dominican Republic 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2011 2012 Alex Cabrera   Venezuela 2 SoftBank 1B Pacific League Home runs Leader (2002)
Pacific League MVP Award (2002)
2011 2011 Soichi Fujita   Japan 1 SoftBank P Pacific League Hold Champion (2000)
NPB All-Star Series (2001)
2011 2016 Toru Hosokawa   Japan 6 SoftBank C Pacific League Best Nine Award (2008,2011)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2008,2011)
2011 2011 Anthony Lerew   United States 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2011 2020 Seiichi Uchikawa   Japan 10 SoftBank 1B Central League & Pacific League Batting Leader (2008,2011)
Central League & Pacific League Hitting Leader (2008,2012)
Currently with Tokyo Yakult Swallows
2011 2017 Ayatsugu Yamashita   Japan 7 SoftBank C Currently with Chunichi Dragons
2012 2012 Brandon Allen   United States 1 SoftBank 1B
2012 2012 Ángel Castro   Dominican Republic 1 SoftBank P
2012 2012 Terry Doyle   United States 1 SoftBank P
2012 2015 Kazuyuki Hoashi   Japan 4 SoftBank P NPB All-Star Series (2005.2008)
2012 2014 Kyohei Kamezawa   Japan 3 SoftBank IF
2012
& 2012
2014
& 2014
Hideki Okajima   Japan 2 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
MLB Rookie of the Month Award (April 2007)
2012 2013 Wily Mo Peña   Dominican Republic 2 SoftBank OF Former MLB player.
2012 2012 Brad Penny   United States 1 SoftBank P
2012 2012 Renyel Pinto   Venezuela 1 SoftBank P
2012 2012 Levi Romero   Venezuela 1 SoftBank P
2012 2015 Naoki Shirane   Japan 4 SoftBank OF
2013 2014 Shintaro Ejiri   Japan 2 SoftBank P
2013 2018 Ryota Igarashi   Japan 6 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Central League Saves Leader (2004)
2013 2018 Yuya Iida   Japan 6 SoftBank P Currently with Orix Buffaloes
2013 2013 Bryan LaHair   United States 1 SoftBank 1B Former MLB player.
2013 2013 Vicente Padilla   Nicaragua 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2013 2013 Shogo Yamamoto   Japan 1 SoftBank P
2013 2014 Hirofumi Yamanaka   Japan 2 SoftBank P
2013 2018 Yuki Yoshimura   Japan 6 SoftBank OF
2013 2013 Makoto Yoshino   Japan 1 SoftBank P
2014 2016 Bárbaro Cañizares   Cuba 3 SoftBank 1B
2014 2015 Ryo Hidaka   Japan 2 SoftBank P
2014 2015 Takeshi Hosoyamada   Japan 2 SoftBank C
2014 2020 Ren Kajiya   Japan 7 SoftBank P Currently with Hanshin Tigers
2014 2015 Dae-ho Lee   South Korea 2 SoftBank 1B Pacific League RBI Leader (2012)
Currently with Lotte Giants (KBO)
2014 2019 Kenichi Nakata   Japan 6 SoftBank P Currently with Hanshin Tigers
2014 2019 Ken Okamoto   Japan 6 SoftBank P
2014 2017 Kaisei Sone   Japan 4 SoftBank IF Currently with Hiroshima Toyo Carp
2014 2018 Shinya Tsuruoka   Japan 5 SoftBank C Pacific League Best Nine Award (2012)
Currently with Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
2014 2015 Brian Wolfe   United States 2 SoftBank P
2015 2017 Daisuke Matsuzaka   Japan 3 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Eiji Sawamura Award (2001)
Pacific League The Most Wins Champion (1999-2001)
Currently with Saitama Seibu Lions
2015 2020 Rick van den Hurk   Netherlands 6 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Japan Series Outstanding Player Award (2015)
Currently with Tokyo Yakult Swallows
2016 2018 Kenta Chatani   Japan 3 SoftBank IF Currently with Chiba Lotte Marines
2016 2020 Reiji Kozawa   Japan 5 SoftBank P Currently with Tokyo Yakult Swallows
2016 2019 Robert Suárez   Venezuela 4 SoftBank P Central League Saves Leader (2020)
Currently with Hanshin Tigers
2017 2019 Oscar Colas   Cuba 3 SoftBank OF
2017 2019 Hiroki Hasegawa   Japan 3 SoftBank P Currently with Tokyo Yakult Swallows
2017 2017 Kyle Jensen   United States 1 SoftBank 1B
2018 2019 Tomoya Ichikawa   Japan 2 SoftBank C
2018 2020 Ryoma Matsuda   Japan 3 SoftBank P
2018 2019 Ariel Miranda   Cuba 2 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Currently with Doosan Bears (KBO)
2018 2020 Tetsuro Nishida   Japan 3 SoftBank SS
2020 2020 Matt Moore   United States 1 SoftBank P MLB All-Star Game (2013)
Currently with Philadelphia Phillies
2021 2021 Colin Rea   United States 1 SoftBank P

Retired numbersEdit

  • none

Honored numbersEdit

Sadaharu Oh's 89 was originally planned to be retired or honored after his retirement, but Oh made clear his preference to give the number to his successor. Ultimately, however, the man who replaced him as manager of the Hawks, Akiyama, declined to wear the number on the grounds that the honor of bearing it would be too great so shortly after Oh's departure. Instead, Akiyama wore the number 81.

ManagersEdit

No. Years
in office
YR Managers G W L T Win% Pacific League
championships
Japan Series
championships
Playoff
berths
1 1938 1 Kazuo Takasu (1st) 40 11 26 3 .296
2 1939 1 Kazuo Takasu (1st)
Hachiro Mimachi (1st)
96 40 50 6 .444
3 1940 1 Kazuo Takasu (2nd) 105 28 71 6 .283
4 1941 1 Hachiro Mimachi (2nd) 84 43 41 0 .512
5 1942 1 Hachiro Mimachi (2nd)
Kisaku Kato (1st)
105 49 56 0 .467
6 1943 1 Tatsuo Takata
Kisaku Kato (2nd)
84 26 56 2 .317
7 1944 1 Kisaku Kato (2nd) 35 11 23 1 .324
8 19461965 20 Kazuto Tsuruoka (1st) 2,646 1,585 990 71 .616 8 times
(1951,1952,1953,1955,
1959,1961,1964,1965)
2 (1959,1964)
9 1965 0 Kazuo Kageyama
10 19661968 3 Kazuto Tsuruoka (2nd) 402 222 168 12 .569 1 (1966)
11 1969 1 Tokuji Iida 130 50 76 4 .397
12 19701977 8 Katsuya Nomura 1,040 513 472 55 .521 1 (1973) 1 (1973)
13 19781980 3 Yoshinori Hirose 390 136 227 27 .375
14 19811982 2 Don Blasingame 260 106 136 18 .438
15 19831985 3 Yoshio Anabuki 390 149 210 31 .415
16 19861989 4 Tadashi Sugiura 520 223 271 26 .451
17 19901992 3 Kōichi Tabuchi 390 151 230 9 .396
18 19931994 2 Rikuo Nemoto 260 114 140 6 .449
19 19952008 14 Sadaharu Oh 1,913 998 877 38 .532 3 times
(1999,2000,2003)
2 (1999,2003) 4 times
(2004,2005,2006,2007)
20 20092014 6 Koji Akiyama 865 456 369 40 .553 3 times
(2010,2011,2014)
2 (2011,2014) 5 times
(2009,2010,2011,
2012,2014)
21 2015–present 7 Kimiyasu Kudo 835 498 316 21 .612 3 times
(2015,2017,2020)
5 times
(2015,2017,2018,
2019,2020)
6 times
(2015,2016,2017,
2018,2019, 2020)
Totals 82 seasons 17 managers 10,536 5,409 4,804 376 .530 19 times 11 times 16 times
  • Statistics current through the end of the 2020 season.[11]

MascotEdit

Hawks has the largest number of mascots in NPB, the Hawk family. The current family members since 1992 are as follows:

  • Harry Hawk-a yellow colored hawk with Number 100, Harry supports the team as the main mascot. He is the youngest brother of Homer Hawk, the former main mascot.
  • Honey Hawk- a pink colored female hawk, Honey is a girlfriend of Harry, and the cheer leader of Hawks' dancing team, Honeys.
  • Herculy Hawk-an orange based hawk with Number 200, Harcury is Harry's teammate as well as his longstanding rival since Hawk University days.
  • Honky Hawk- a middle aged hawk, Honky is Harry's uncle, and the mayor of Hawks Town. He loves baseball.
  • Helen Hawk- a middle aged female hawk, Helen is Honky's wife. They have eloped during their high school days.
  • Hack Hawk-Harry's nephew. He wears red-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.
  • Rick Hawk- Harry's nephew and middle of Hawk brothers. Rick wears glasses and blue-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.
  • Hock Hawk-Harry's nephew and youngest brother of Huck and Rick. He wears a green-lined T-shirts and the same color cap.
  • Homer Hawk- The original mascot of the Hawks from 1989 to 2004 and the older brother of the teams current mascot Harry,

MLB playersEdit

Retired:

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Kinki Nihon," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Kinki Great Ring," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 11, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Kazuto Tsuruoka," Baseball-Reference.com "Bullpen." Accessed March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "Kazuto Tsuruoka," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Kleinberg, Alexander (December 24, 2001). "Where have you gone, Masanori Murakami?". Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on August 18, 2002. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  6. ^ Roah, Jeff, "tokyo under the tracks: It's Never Too Late to Insert an Asterisk" Archived 2009-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, Tokyo Q, October 12, 2001.
  7. ^ a b Whiting, Robert, "Equaling Oh's HR record proved difficult", Japan Times, October 31, 2008, p. 12.
  8. ^ Merron, Jeff, "The Phoniest Records in Sports" Archived June 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine, ESPN.com, February 28, 2003.
  9. ^ "Hawks earn spot in Japan Series". The Japan Times. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Though not fully official, the Hawks do honor the number 90, which belonged to Yasutake Kageura, a fictional character from the Japanese baseball manga Abu-san, in which he was depicted with the franchise during the Nankai Hawks era. This is the only squad number honored to a fictional manga character in the NPB.
  11. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball 福岡ソフトバンクホークス 年度別成績 (1938-2021)". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved August 19, 2021.

External linksEdit