Daiei Stars

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Daiei Stars
League

Nippon Professional Baseball

Ballpark Korakuen Stadium
Year established 1946
Former name(s) Gold Star (1946)
Kinsei Stars (1947–1948)
Former league(s) Japanese Baseball League
Colors white, red, sky blue
              
Ownership Komajiro Tamura (1946–1948)
Daiei Motion Picture Company (1949–1956)
Manager Sadayoshi Fujimoto (1948–1956)

The Daiei Stars (大映スターズ?, Daiei Sutāzu) were a Japanese professional baseball team that was founded in 1946, and played in various incarnations until 1957. Overall, the franchise only had three winning seasons, never rising higher than third place. They were in the second division, or B-class, for seven seasons, including their last four years. The Stars played in Korakuen Stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo.

Franchise history[edit]

Japanese Baseball League[edit]

The franchise was founded as Gold Star, a new post-war team in the Japanese Baseball League. They were owned by textile manufacturer and Lucky Gold Star Telephones owner Komajiro Tamura,[1] who also owned Pacific[2] (formerly Asahi). Gold Star consisted mostly of former Asahi Baseball Club players, and was managed by Asahi's former manager Michinori Tubouchi.[2] In the team's inaugural season, they won 43 games and lost 60, finishing 22 games out of first place.

The next year the team became the Kinsei Stars ("Kinsei" meaning gold star in Japanese)[2] and signed long-time Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants pitcher Victor Starffin (who came over from Tamura's other team, the Taiyo Robins [formerly Gold Star]). Starffin pitched for the franchise for six seasons, winning 80 games and losing 70. 1948 was also when the team hired Sadayoshi Fujimoto as manager (he stayed at the helm of the team until partway through their final season, 1956).

In 1949, after being bought by Masaichi Nagata/the Daiei Motion Picture Company, the team changed its name to the Daiei Stars, with Nagata serving as team president.

Nippon Professional Baseball[edit]

In 1950 the Stars became charter members of the Pacific League when the JBL reorganized into Nippon Professional Baseball and split into two distinct entities. Outfielder Shigeya Iijima was a league Best Nine Award-winner in 1950–1951. He led the Pacific League in batting in 1952, hitting .336, while his teammate Giichi Hayashi led the league in innings pitched, with 269-2⁄3.

Merger[edit]

In 1957, the Stars merged with the Takahashi Unions to form the Daiei Unions. The Unions existed for a single season, finishing last in the Pacific League, at 41-89-2, 43-1/2 games out of first. Pitcher Masayoshi Miura led the Pacific League in losses, with 21.

In 1958, the Unions merged with the Mainichi Orions to form the Daimai Orions. This enabled the Pacific League to shrink from the ungainly seven-team arrangement (caused by the 1957 merger) to six teams.

Managers[edit]

Japanese Baseball League season-by-season records[edit]

Year Team name Wins Losses Ties Win/Loss Percentage Standings Games behind
1946 Gold Star 43 60 2 .417 6 22
1947 Kinsei Stars 41 74 4 .357 8 37.5
1948 Kinsei Stars 60 73 7 .451 7 25.5
1949 Daiei Stars 67 65 2 .508 3 17.5

Nippon Professional Baseball season-by-season records[edit]

Year Team name Wins Losses Ties Win/Loss Percentage Pacific League Standings Games behind
1950 Daiei Stars 62 54 4 .534 3 19.5
1951 Daiei Stars 41 52 8 .441 4 29.5
1952 Daiei Stars 55 65 1 .458 4 21
1953 Daiei Stars 63 53 4 .543 3 6.5
1954 Daiei Stars 43 92 5 .319 8 46
1955 Daiei Stars 53 87 1 .379 6 46
1956 Daiei Stars 57 94 3 .377 7 41
1957 Daiei Unions 41 89 2 .315 7 43.5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Worth, Richard. Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869–2011 (McFarland, 2013), p. 304.
  2. ^ a b c "Goldstar," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 8, 2015.