Yokohama DeNA BayStars

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The Yokohama DeNA BayStars (横浜DeNAベイスターズ, Yokohama Dī-Enu-Ē Beisutāzu) are a professional baseball team in the Japanese Central League. Their home field is Yokohama Stadium, located in central Yokohama. The team has been known by several names since becoming a professional team in 1950. It adopted its current name in 2011, when the club was purchased by software company DeNA.

Yokohama DeNA BayStars
Team logo Cap insignia
LeagueNippon Professional Baseball
Central League (1950–present)
LocationNaka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
BallparkYokohama Stadium
FoundedDecember 15, 1949; 74 years ago (1949-12-15)
CL pennants2 (1960, 1998)
Japan Series championships2 (1960, 1998)
Former name(s)
  • Yokohama BayStars (1993–2011)
  • Yokohama Taiyo Whales (1978–1992)
  • Taiyo Whales (1955–1977)
  • Yosho Robins (1954)
  • Taiyo Shochiku Robins (1953)
  • Taiyo Whales (1950–1952)
Former ballparks
ColorsBlue, White
MascotDB.Starman and DB.Kirara
Playoff berths5 (2016, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023)
OwnershipTomoko Namba
ManagementDeNA Co., Ltd.
ManagerDaisuke Miura

History edit

Origin (1930s–1949) edit

The team began as the Taiyo Fishing Company, an amateur team currently affiliated with the Maruha Corporation (presently Maruha Nichiro). The team began to appear in national tournaments in the 1930s, and won the National Sports Festival in 1948, giving it national recognition. In the 1949 off-season, the Japanese professional baseball league drastically expanded itself and many players from the Taiyo amateur team were recruited to join the professional leagues. The owner of the Taiyo company decided to join the newly expanded Central League, which was established in 1950. The team's first professional incarnation was as the Maruha Team. The franchise was based in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.

Taiyo Whales (1950–1952) edit

The team name was changed to the Taiyō Whales (大洋ホエールズ, Taiyō Hoeeruzu) shortly after the start of the 1950 season. The Whales received several veteran players from the Yomiuri Giants to compensate for their lack of players, but ended up in the bottom half of the standings each year.

In 1951, there was talk of merging with the Hiroshima Carp, which had experienced serious financial problems but the merging never occurred due to massive protests from Hiroshima citizens.

Taiyo Shochiku Robins (1953) and Yo-Sho Robins (1954) edit

In 1952, it was decided that teams ending the season with a winning percentage below .300 would be disbanded or merged with other teams. The Shochiku Robins fell into this category, and were merged with the Taiyo Whales to become the Taiyō-Shochiku Robins (大洋松竹ロビンス, Taiyō Shōchiku Robinsu) in January, 1953. However, the team's re-organization was not completed in time for the 1953 season, and the team ended up continuing its offices in both Shimonoseki and Kyoto. Home games took place in Osaka for geographical reasons, and the team's finances were managed by both the Taiyo and Shochiku companies until the franchise was officially transferred to Osaka in 1954, to become the Yō-Shō Robins (洋松ロビンス, Yō-Shō Robinsu).

The Shochiku Robins had won the 1950 Central League championship before being merged.

Taiyo Whales (1955–1977) edit

The Shochiku company discontinued its support in December, 1954, and the team name returned to the Taiyo Whales. The franchise moved to Kawasaki, Kanagawa, and obtained an exclusive home field, (Kawasaki Stadium), but ended up in last place six years in a row from 1954–1959.

In 1960, the team recruited Osamu Mihara, who had been manager of the Nishitetsu Lions the previous year. Mihara led the team to its first pennant in 1960, and swept the Pacific League champions in the Japanese championship series. The team had been in last place the previous year. The year was also highlighted with pitcher Gentaro Shimada, just 2 weeks before his 21st birthday, throwing the first no-hitter and perfect game in Whales history, becoming the youngest player to do so until Roki Sasaki did so in 2022.

However, this success did not last long, and the team quickly fell back into last place in 1961. The Whales made a comeback in 1962, but trailed four games behind the Hanshin Tigers to end up in second place. They lost the league championship again to the Tigers in 1964, only one game (.008 winning percentage) away from first place.

The team produced countless star players during the 1970s, but rarely ended the season above the .500 mark. The small Kawasaki Stadium made the Whales one of the most offensively productive teams in Japanese baseball history, but a weak pitching staff, and lack of financial support put the team out of serious contention.

By 1976, the team had been planning on moving from Kawasaki to Yokohama, and support from the mayor of Yokohama allowed the team to gain financial support from the Kokudo Company. 55% of the team's share was retained by Taiyo, and the other 45% went to Kokudo.

Yokohama Taiyo Whales (1978–1992) edit

In 1978, the team moved to the newly-completed Yokohama Stadium in central Yokohama. The team name was changed to the Yokohama Taiyō Whales (横浜大洋ホエールズ, Yokohama Taiyō Hoeeruzu) to reflect the team's new home town. The Kokudo Company sold its shares of the team to the Nippon Broadcasting System and TBS. The Nippon Broadcasting System obtained 30% of the shares, and TBS bought 15%, while Taiyo kept its 55%. The team enjoyed far more popularity during this period than in previous years, but continued to post only meager results in the standings, with their best placing being in 1979, when they finished second behind the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Yokohama BayStars (1993–2011) edit

In November 1992, Taiyo changed its name to the Maruha Corporation and renamed the team as the Yokohama BayStars (横浜ベイスターズ, Yokohama Beisutāzu). The BayStars were the first Japanese professional baseball team not to include the name of the parent company in the team name.

Originally, the team was going to be renamed simply to the Yokohama Whales, but new restrictions on whaling in Japan convinced the company to drop the original name. Some superstitious fans had believed that dead whales put a curse onto the team (the Maruha Corporation was famous for its whale meat products), preventing the Whales from winning championships. In his visit to the United States, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa remarked to the then-president Bill Clinton (who had proposed the international restriction on whaling) that the Maruha Corporation's decision was reflective of Japan's change in attitude towards whaling.

The BayStars remained a non-contender during the early 1990s, but gradually assembled the players that would contribute to the team's championship in 1998. Akihiko Ohya became the manager in 1996, and almost caught up to the Yakult Swallows in 1997, ending in second place. Hiroshi Gondo (a pitching coach the previous year) became manager in 1998, and the BayStars won their first league championship in 38 years in 1998, defeating the Seibu Lions to win the Japanese championship series. The team's consistent hitting, impeccable defense, (players from the BayStars won five golden glove awards in 1998) and solid pitching staff (rounded by closer Kazuhiro Sasaki) contributed to an epic 1998 season. The BayStars' offense in the '98 season became known as the "Machine Gun Offense" because of the quick succession of hits the Yokohama batters would get (mostly singles), and no game was ever over until the final out was recorded. Players who made up the Machine Gun Offense included Bobby Rose, Takuro Ishii, Motonobu Tanishige, Glenn Braggs (who left in 1996), and Takanori Suzuki.

The team dropped to third place in 1999 despite having the best offense in Japan and also setting a league record for team batting average at .294, alongside Rose breaking the Central League hits record, and has not been in serious contention for the championship ever since. A major cause of this was due to the collapse of Yokohama's pitching staff, as while the offense was good, the fact that Yokohama Stadium was more of a hitter friendly park, due to its outfield dimensions, would need them to have good pitching, alongside other factors, including Sasaki leaving for the Seattle Mariners in 2000, not being able to give a new contract to Rose, Tanishige leaving for the Dragons, and Saito leaving for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2001, the Maruha Corporation sold its remaining shares to TBS, giving TBS full ownership of the team, with the only stipulation being that TBS was not allowed to put their name in the team's name. Akihiko Ohya returned in 2007 after leaving the team in 1997. In 2009 the team finished at the bottom of the league despite having a few young stars on the team like slugger Shuichi Murata and league batting champion Seiichi Uchikawa, and also having the pitching of Daisuke Miura and the signing of foreign star Ryan Glynn.

On May 18, 2009, The BayStars' management announced it had fired Ohya and appointed Tomio Tashiro as an acting manager.

Yokohama DeNA BayStars (2012–present) edit

In 2011, the franchise was acquired by a mobile telephone game company DeNA. The name was changed to reflect this, and they changed their mascot from Hosshey to Starman, who wore the new uniform.

In October 2015, Alex Ramírez, a former BayStars player and the only foreign-born player to have 2,000 hits in Japanese baseball, was named as manager for the 2016 season. He replaced Kiyoshi Nakahata, who resigned at the end of 2015 to take responsibility for the club's poor performance.[1] In 2016, Yokohama DeNA BayStars finished the regular season in third place (69–71–3), 19.5 games behind the league leader Hiroshima Toyo Carp (89–52–3). Defeating the second place Yomiuri Giants two games to one in the first stage of the Climax Series, the BayStars advanced to the Climax Series Final but lost to the Carp in five games.

In 2017, the BayStars again finished the regular season in third place (73–65–5) 14.5 games behind the league leader Hiroshima Toyo Carp (88–51–4). Their .252 team batting average and 134 home runs were both second best in the Central League. In the first round of the Climax Series, the BayStars defeated the second place Hanshin Tigers in three games and advanced to the Climax Series Final. Although losing the first game against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, the BayStars won the next four games to become 2017 Central League Climax Series Champions for the first time in 19 years. José López was the most valuable player (MVP) of the Central League Climax Series. The BayStars advanced to the 2017 Japan Series against the Pacific League Champion Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.[2] The Hawks won the first three games of the series. Facing elimination, the BayStars won Games 4 and 5. At home in game 6, with the BayStars leading 3–2, the Hawks' Seiichi Uchikawa hit a game-tying solo home run off of the BayStars' star closer, Yasuaki Yamasaki. Keizo Kawashima hit the walk-off RBI single for SoftBank in the eleventh inning for the title. Hawks' pitcher Dennis Sarfate, with two saves and a Game 6 win, was named the Japan Series Most Valuable Player (MVP). Toshiro Miyazaki won the Fighting Spirit Award, given to the best player on the losing team. It was the first Japan Series loss for the team.

On March 13, 2023, Trevor Bauer agreed to an incentive-laden one-year, $4 million contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

Season-by-season records edit

Year Team Name Place Manager
1950 Taiyo Whales 5th Tairiku Watanabe (渡辺大陸)
1951 Taiyo Whales 6th Haruyasu Nakajima (中島治康)
Giichi Arima (有馬義一)
1952 Taiyo Whales 4th Tokuro Konishi (小西得郎)
1953 Taiyo Shochiku Robins 5th
1954 Yosho Robins 6th Takeo Nagasawa (永沢武夫)
1955 Taiyo Whales 6th Isamu Fujii (藤井勇)
1956 Taiyo Whales 6th Masami Sakohata (迫畑正巳)
1957 Taiyo Whales 6th
1958 Taiyo Whales 6th
1959 Taiyo Whales 6th Shigeo Mori (森茂雄)
1960 Taiyo Whales 1st (Won Japan Series) Osamu Mihara (三原脩)
1961 Taiyo Whales 6th
1962 Taiyo Whales 2nd
1963 Taiyo Whales 5th
1964 Taiyo Whales 2nd
1965 Taiyo Whales 4th
1966 Taiyo Whales 5th
1967 Taiyo Whales 4th
1968 Taiyo Whales 5th Kaoru Betto (別当薫)
1969 Taiyo Whales 3rd
1970 Taiyo Whales 3rd
1971 Taiyo Whales 3rd
1972 Taiyo Whales 5th
1973 Taiyo Whales 5th
1974 Taiyo Whales 5th
1975 Taiyo Whales 5th Noboru Akiyama (秋山登)
1976 Taiyo Whales 6th
1977 Taiyo Whales 6th Kaoru Betto (別当薫)
1978 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 4th
1979 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 2nd
1980 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 4th Kiyoshi Doi (土井淳)
1981 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 6th
1982 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 5th Junzo Sekine (関根潤三)
1983 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 3rd
1984 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 6th
1985 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 4th Sadao Kondoh (近藤貞雄)
1986 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 4th
1987 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 5th Takeshi Koba (古葉竹識)
1988 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 4th
1989 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 6th
1990 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 3rd Yutaka Sudoh (須藤豊)
1991 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 5th
1992 Yokohama Taiyo Whales 5th Yutaka Sudoh (須藤豊)
Akira Ejiri (江尻亮)
1993 Yokohama Baystars 5th Akihito Kondo (近藤昭仁)
1994 Yokohama Baystars 6th
1995 Yokohama Baystars 4th
1996 Yokohama Baystars 5th Akihiko Ohya (大矢明彦)
1997 Yokohama Baystars 2nd
1998 Yokohama Baystars 1st (won Japan Series) Hiroshi Gondoh (権藤博)
1999 Yokohama Baystars 3rd
2000 Yokohama Baystars 3rd
2001 Yokohama Baystars 3rd Masaaki Mori (森祇晶)
2002 Yokohama Baystars 6th
2003 Yokohama Baystars 6th Daisuke Yamashita (山下大輔)
2004 Yokohama Baystars 6th
2005 Yokohama Baystars 3rd Kazuhiko Ushijima (牛島和彦)
2006 Yokohama Baystars 6th
2007 Yokohama Baystars 4th Akihiko Ohya (大矢明彦)
2008 Yokohama Baystars 6th
2009 Yokohama Baystars 6th Akihiko Ohya (大矢明彦)
Tomio Tashiro (田代富雄)
2010 Yokohama Baystars 6th Takao Obana (尾花高夫)
2011 Yokohama Baystars 6th
2012 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 6th Kiyoshi Nakahata (中畑清)
2013 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 5th
2014 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 5th
2015 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 6th
2016 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 3rd Alex Ramirez (アレックス・ラミレス)
2017 Yokohama DeNA BayStars Climax Series Champions 3rd
2018 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 4th
2019 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 2nd
2020 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 4th
2021 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 6th Daisuke Miura (三浦大輔)
2022 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 2nd


Roster edit

First squad Second squad














Development Players
Updated April 29, 2024 All NPB rosters

Former players edit

Retired numbers edit


Honored numbers edit

MLB players edit



Mascots edit


They have been represented by various star-themed characters such as:

  • Hosshey (ホッシ) 1993–2012
  • Hossiena (ホッシーナ) 1993-2012
  • Hossizo (ホッシーゾ) 1993-2012
  • DB.Starman (DB.スターマン) 2012~
  • DB.Kirara (DB.キララ) (DB Starman`s daughter) 2012~
  • DB.Rider 2012~2017


Minor League team edit

The Baystars farm team plays in the Eastern League. It was founded in 1950. The minor league team shares the same name and uniform as the parent team and they play the majority of their home games at Yokosuka Stadium, located in Yokosuka, Kanagawa.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "BayStars name Ramirez as new manager". 19 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  2. ^ "BayStars bash Carp, punch ticket to Japan Series: Yokohama reaches championship series for the first time in 19 years". The Japan Times. October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  3. ^ 一般社団法人日本野球機構. "横浜DeNAベイスターズ 年度別成績 (1950-2018)".
  4. ^ "Mascot Profiles". Retrieved 20 November 2015.

External links edit