|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.
Japanese Baseball League
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, who also owned Pacific (formerly Asahi). Gold Star consisted mostly of former Asahi Baseball Club players, and was managed by Asahi's former manager Michinori Tubouchi. 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) 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).
Nippon Professional Baseball
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.
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.
Japanese Baseball League season-by-season records
|Year||Team name||Wins||Losses||Ties||Win/Loss Percentage||Standings||Games behind|
Nippon Professional Baseball season-by-season records
|Year||Team name||Wins||Losses||Ties||Win/Loss Percentage||Pacific League Standings||Games behind|
- Worth, Richard. Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869–2011 (McFarland, 2013), p. 304.
- "Goldstar," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 8, 2015.