Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

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Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Softbank hawks logo.png Fukuoka 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 foundedFebruary 22, 1938; 84 years ago (1938-02-22)[1]
Nickname(s)Taka (鷹, hawk)
JBL championships2 (1946, 1948)
PL Pennants
Japan Series championships
Former name(s)
  • 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
ColorsRevolution Yellow, Black, White, Grey[2]
       
MascotHarry Hawk and the Hawk Family
Playoff berths
OwnershipMasayoshi Son, Yoshimitsu Goto [ja]
ManagementSoftBank Group, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Corp.[3]
ManagerHiroshi Fujimoto
General ManagerSugihiko Mikasa
PresidentSadaharu Oh
Websitesoftbankhawks.co.jp
Uniforms
SoBa Hawks Uniforms.PNG

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. Founded on February 22, 1938 as the Nankai Club, being the first Kansai team to play in Osaka proper, the team went through a few name changes before settling on Nankai Hawks in 1947, eventually changing ownership in 1988 and moving to Fukuoka in 1989. The team subsequently became known as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks until 2005, when they were purchased by SoftBank Group, becoming the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Since 1993, the Hawks have played at the Fukuoka PayPay Dome, which has gone under several name changes and seats 40,178 people.[4]

The Hawks are often regarded as one of the most successful franchises in Pacific League and the richest in all of baseball under the ownership of SoftBank Group,[5] with the second most wins in all of Japanese sports, only trailing the Yomiuri Giants. The Hawks have played in the Japan Series 20 different times. The club also won two Japanese Baseball League championships in 1946 and 1948 while the team was based in Osaka. The Hawks' 11 Japan Series championships, including seven championships between 2011 and 2020, and 19 Pacific League pennants, with the most recent of both coming in 2020, are second-most in Pacific League and third-most in all of NPB.

For various reasons, the Hawks experienced a 35 year title drought between 1964 and 1999 including a period of 26 years from 1973 to 1999 without a single Japan Series appearance, despite the relocation to Fukuoka. The drought finally ended in 1999, with gradual additions over the previous five years under new manager and home run king Sadaharu Oh. Under Oh (as manager and later executive), Daiei, and later SoftBank, the Hawks embraced internal development and sabremetrics as they eventually formed a baseball dynasty off of a core led by slugger Yuki Yanagita and aces Kodai Senga and Tsuyoshi Wada, capturing Japan Series titles in 2003, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, making the Hawks first team since the 1965-1973 Yomiuri Giants to win more than three consecutive championships.[6]

Through 2022, the franchise's all-time record is 5545-4931-399 (.529).[7] The team's manager is Hiroshi Fujimoto and the organization's acting CEO is Yoshimitsu Goto [ja].

History[edit]

Nankai Electric Railway Company ownership (1938–1988)[edit]

The franchise that eventually became the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks was founded on February 22, 1938 by Nankai Electric Railway president Jinkichi Terada as Nankai Club, based in central Osaka. The organization was said to be created as a result of rival railway companies Hanshin Electric Railway and Hankyu convincing Nankai to create a baseball club of their own. While initially met with resistance, the club was admitted to the Japanese Baseball League (JPBL) in the fall of 1938, playing their first games at Sakai Ohama Stadium, but moved into Nakamozu Stadium in 1939. The team's name was changed to Kinki Nippon in mid-1944 as wartime austerity measures forced Nankai to temporarily merge with 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 and the team won the JBL championship.

In mid-1947, when Nankai broke away from Kinki Nippon Railway, they decided to change the team's name, and settled upon the moniker they would use until they would sell the team in 1988 – Nankai Hawks (南海ホークス). The team was named after Nankai's logo, which, at that time, was a winged wheel. Other names considered were Condors, which was rejected because the Nankai representative who supervised the team was bald, and Cardinals, which was rejected because the club wanted to retain their colors, so they settled on the Hawks moniker.

After the JPBL was reorganized into Nippon Professional Baseball in 1950, the Hawks were placed into the Pacific League alongside the Mainichi Orions, Hankyu Braves, Tokyu Flyers, Daiei Stars, Nishitetsu Clippers, and Kintetsu Pearls. Under player-manager Kazuto Tsuruoka (known as Kazuto Yamamoto from 1946 to 1958) they became one of the most successful franchises through the first two decades of the Pacific League's existence, taking two Japan Series championships in 1959 and 1964, as well as 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.[8]

In 1964, the Hawks team sent pitching prospect Masanori Murakami and two other young players to the San Francisco Giants single-A affiliate in Fresno as a baseball "exchange student". On September 1 of that year, Murakami became the first Japanese player to play in Major League Baseball[9] when he appeared on the mound for the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium against the New York Mets. In his debut, Murakami pitched one inning, allowing one hit and facing four batters in a 1-4 loss for the Giants. Disputes over the rights to his contract eventually led to the 1967 United States – Japanese Player Contract Agreement, which effectively barred Japanese players from playing in MLB until Hideo Nomo exploited a loophole in the contract agreement to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995, although others had tried before, including pitcher Kunikazu Ogawa in 1979 for the Milwaukee Brewers and later Murakami himself attempted to return to the Giants in 1983, but both were cut in spring training.[10] Murakami returned to the Hawks in 1966, playing for them through 1974. He contributed to the team's 1973 Japan Series appearance, 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, Kawakatsu, who represented the most ardent supporter of Nankai's ownership of the Hawks, died on April 23, 1988,[11] 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 moved to Fukuoka for two reasons; the first being the fact that the city had gone a decade without a team in the area, as the Crown Lighter Lions moved to Tokorozawa to become the Seibu Lions in 1978, and the second was that Daiei was looking to expand their reach as a brand to Kyushu, which Daiei had little to no presence in before the acquisition. As a result, they 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 a market share of the Greater Osaka metropolitan area. 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 would play their first four seasons at the Lions' old stadium, Heiwadai Stadium.

In 1993, the Hawks moved out of Heiwadai Stadium and into the newly constructed Fukuoka Dome, located 2.2 kilometers northwest of Heiwadai. Heiwadai Stadium would later be closed in November 1997 and fully demolished by 2008. The Fukuoka Dome would be the first retractable roof stadium in NPB and the only retractable roof stadium until 2023, when ES CON Field Hokkaido opened. However, due to inefficient design and high operating costs, the roof is almost never opened. Since the Hawks moved to the Fukuoka Dome, they have led Pacific League in annual average attendance every single year except for 2021, where pandemic restrictions in Japan prevented them from reaching said goal.[12]

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. As of 2022, Oh is still with the Hawks organization as a chairman of the Hawks' board of directors, and still engages with day-to-day operations of the team at the age of 82. 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 former Hanshin Tigers catcher Kenji Johjima, Kazumi Saitoh, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, future Chicago White Sox and Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Tadahito Iguchi, shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, and future team captain Hiroki Kokubo.

Supplementing the amateur signings were some key free-agent acquisitions. Daiei went toe to toe with the then richest man in Japan, Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, to pull former Seibu stars from their 1980s championship teams to Fukuoka. 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 former manager Kimiyasu Kudoh.

These moves, alongside 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 the 1999 Japan Series's most valuable player.

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, a series in which the home team won every game.

Home run record controversy[edit]

In 2001, American Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, playing for the Osaka 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, after already clinching the pennant on a walk-off grand slam against the Orix BlueWave on September 26. 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", and Wakana would be fired from the position as a result. Hawks pitcher Keisaburo Tanoue went on record saying that he wanted to throw strikes to Rhodes, but didn't want to disrespect the orders of his catcher.[13][14]

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."[14] 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".[15]

Eventually, in 2013, Curaçaoan-Dutch Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien broke the NPB single-season home run record, finishing the season with 60 home runs.[16] In 2022, Swallows infielder Munetaka Murakami broke Oh's record for the most home runs in a single season by a Japanese-born player, hitting 56 home runs in the regular season.[17]

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2005–present)[edit]

Daiei had been under financial pressure to sell its stake in the team over the previous few years, with reports in 2003 suggesting the company would sell the team and the Fukuoka Dome. After filing for a bankruptcy reorganization provision in 2004, 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 Group on January 28, 2005. SoftBank had been interested in owning a baseball team since 2002 and agreed to purchase all 14,432,000 of Daiei's shares in the team, which accounted for 98% of team ownership, for 15 billion yen.[18] This deal did not include the Fukuoka Dome, which was later sold to an affiliate of the GIC. SoftBank decided to lease the rights to the Fukuoka Dome for 4.8 billion yen per year for 20 years. They would end up purchasing the stadium from the GIC affiliate for 87 billion yen in March 2012, with the stadium being fully owned by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Marketing Corporation by July 1, 2015.[19]

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 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 transfer to a front office role at the end of the season, as 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 2010s[edit]

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 the 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 Tokyo Yakult Swallows. Outfielder Yuki Yanagita won Pacific League MVP, the batting title, and a Triple 3 (.300 BA, 30 HR, 30 SB or better in all 3 categories).[20] 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 seventh game.[21] 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.

2020s[edit]

In 2020, the Hawks won the 2020 Japan Series, again in a four game sweep over 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. They also became the first team in NPB history to sweep two Japan Series against the same opponent in back-to-back seasons. Most notably, Matt Moore pitched seven no-hit innings in Game 3 of that Japan Series as the Hawks came within one out of the first combined no-hitter in Japan Series play since Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase threw a combined perfect game for the Chunichi Dragons to end the 2007 Japan Series.

The Hawks ended an injury-riddled and underwhelming 2021 with a 60-62-21 record, finishing 4th in the Pacific League, the first time the team had not qualified for the playoffs since 2013. This also was the first time since 2008 that the Hawks failed to maintain a .500 winning percentage season, as manager Kimiyasu Kudo stepped down after the conclusion of the 2021 season.[22]

Following Kudo's departure, farm team manager Hiroshi Fujimoto was promoted to the majors to be the new manager for 2022. Yuki Yanagita was named team captain by Fujimoto, becoming the first team captain since Seiichi Uchikawa gave up the role after the 2018 season. The Hawks went on a tear to begin the season, winning eight straight games, with Fujimoto being the first new manager to win seven consecutive games, and the first time since 1955 that the Hawks won eight straight games to open the season.[23] A solid spring followed by a less than ideal summer filled with ups and downs, including going 1-9 in their annual Hawk Festival series and being the first team since the 1995 Seibu Lions to be no-hit by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, led to the Hawks losing the pennant race to the Orix Buffaloes via tiebreaker after the Hawks lost to the Chiba Lotte Marines on the final day of the season, with both teams finishing with a record of 76-65-2. This marked the first time the top two teams in a league shared the exact same record in NPB history at the conclusion of the regular season, resulting in a tiebreaker being necessary. The Hawks lost the overall regular season series against Orix, as the Buffaloes won 15 games against them in comparison to SoftBank's 10 wins, resulting in Orix taking the 2022 Pacific League pennant.[24] They would eventually fall to the Buffaloes in the second stage of the Climax Series, breaking an eighteen game playoff winning streak in the process.

On October 10, the Hawks announced the formation of a yon-gun squad (third farm team), becoming the first team in NPB to begin operations on a third farm team, beginning play in 2023.[25]

Roster[edit]

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
Coordinator
Development Players
Updated December 29, 2022 All NPB rosters


Former players[edit]

Hawks former players[edit]

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
1980 1989 Nobuyuki Kagawa  Japan 10 Nankai/Daiei C Also known as Dokaben
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 1991 Hiroyuki Mori  Japan 5 Nankai/Daiei C
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 1997 Manabu Saito  Japan 8 Daiei P
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 2008 Junji Hoshino  Japan 11 Daiei/SoftBank P
1998 1998 Luis Lopez  United States 1 Daiei 1B Central League RBI Leader (1996,1997)
Central League Hitting Leader (1997)
1998 2005 Tomohiro Nagai  Japan 8 Daiei/SoftBank P 1999 Japan Series Outstanding Player Award
1998 2001 Tatsuji Nishimura  Japan 4 Daiei P NPB Comeback Player of the Year Award (1998)
1998
& 2003
2002
& 2005
Takashi Sasagawa  Japan 18 Daiei/SoftBank IF
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
& 2017
2011
& 2017
Munenori Kawasaki  Japan 13 Daiei/SoftBank IF Former MLB player. Currently with Tochigi Golden Braves
Pacific League Hits Leader (2004)
Pacific League stolen base Leader (2004)
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 2022 Kenji Akashi  Japan 19 Daiei/SoftBank IF NPB All-Star Series (2012)
Japan Series Outstanding Player Award (2015)
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 2022 Nobuhiro Matsuda  Japan 17 SoftBank 3B Pacific League Best nine Award (2018)
Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2011,2013‐2019)
Currently with Yomiuri Giants
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 2021 Yuya Hasegawa  Japan 15 SoftBank OF Pacific League Batting Leader (2013)
Pacific League Hitting Leader (2013)
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 2021 Hiroaki Takaya  Japan 15 SoftBank C
2007 2012 Hitoshi Tamura  Japan 6 SoftBank OF Pacific League Best Nine Award (2010)
2007 2017 Hiroki Yamada  Japan 11 SoftBank P
2008 2021 Sho Iwasaki  Japan 14 SoftBank P Pacific League Holds Leader (2017)
Currently with Chunichi Dragons
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 2021 Hiroyuki Kawahara  Japan 12 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)
2011 2017 Ayatsugu Yamashita  Japan 7 SoftBank C
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 2021 Go Kamamoto  Japan 10 SoftBank OF
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
2013 2013 Bryan LaHair  United States 1 SoftBank 1B Former MLB player.
2013 2022 Yusuke Masago  Japan 10 SoftBank OF
2013 2013 Vicente Padilla  Nicaragua 1 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
2013 2022 Tomoki Takata  Japan 10 SoftBank IF
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 2021 Keizo Kawashima  Japan 8 SoftBank IF
2014 2015 Dae-ho Lee  South Korea 2 SoftBank 1B Pacific League RBI Leader (2012)
2014 2019 Kenichi Nakata  Japan 6 SoftBank P
2014 2019 Ken Okamoto  Japan 6 SoftBank P
2014 2021 Dennis Sarfate  United States 8 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Pacific League Saves Leader (2015, 2016, 2017)
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)
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)
2015 2020 Rick van den Hurk  Netherlands 6 SoftBank P Former MLB player.
Japan Series Outstanding Player Award (2015)
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 2022 Kenta Kurose  Japan 7 SoftBank IF
2016 2019 Robert Suárez  Venezuela 4 SoftBank P Central League Saves Leader (2020)
Currently with San Diego Padres
2017 2019 Oscar Colas  Cuba 3 SoftBank OF Currently with Chicago White Sox
2017 2021 Yuto Furuya  Japan 5 SoftBank P
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.
2018 2020 Tetsuro Nishida  Japan 3 SoftBank SS
2018 2021 Yuta Watanabe  Japan 4 SoftBank P Currently with Hanshin Tigers
2020 2020 Matt Moore  United States 1 SoftBank P MLB All-Star Game (2013)
Currently with Texas Rangers
2020 2021 Wladimir Balentien  Netherlands 2 SoftBank OF Central League home run leader (2011–2013)
Central League Best Nine Award (2012–2013)
2021 2021 Dariel Álvarez  Cuba 1 SoftBank OF Currently with Saraperos de Saltillo
2021 2021 Nick Martinez  United States 1 SoftBank P MLB player.
Currently with San Diego Padres
2021 2022 Masahiro Nakatani  Japan 2 SoftBank OF
2022 2022 Ryo Akiyoshi  Japan 1 SoftBank P NPB All-Star Game (2016).
2022 2022 Tyler Chatwood  United States 1 SoftBank P MLB player.

Retired numbers[edit]

  • none

Honored numbers[edit]

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.

Managers[edit]

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 864 456 368 40 .553 3 times
(2010,2011,2014)
2 (2011,2014) 5 times
(2009,2010,2011,
2012,2014)
21 20152021 7 Kimiyasu Kudo 978 558 378 42 .596 3 times
(2015,2017,2020)
5 times
(2015,2017,2018,
2019,2020)
6 times
(2015,2016,2017,
2018,2019, 2020)
22 2022–Present 1 Hiroshi Fujimoto 143 76 65 2 .539 1 times
(2022)
Totals 84 seasons 18 managers 10,875 5,545 4,931 399 .529 19 times 11 times 16 times
  • Statistics current through the end of the 2022 season.[27]

Mascots[edit]

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have the largest number of mascots in NPB, with a total of eleven active mascots. Nine of them are traditional mascots that are a part of the Hawk Family. The currently known family members since 1992 are as follows:[28]

  • Harry Hawk – a 23 year old yellow hawk with an orange beak wearing the number 100, Harry supports the team as the main mascot. He is the youngest brother of Homer Hawk, the former main mascot when the team was owned by Daiei. Harry is the only one with a Twitter account.
  • Honey Hawk – an 18 year old pink female hawk. Honey is Harry's girlfriend and the namesake of the Honeys, the Hawks' dancing and cheerleading squad.
  • Herculy Hawk – a 23 year old brown hawk wearing the number 200, Herculy is Harry's teammate as well as his longstanding rival since Hawk University days. Herculy is only seen wearing the team's away jersey, even at home and during special events, such as Hawks Festival or Fight! Kyushu days.[29]
  • Honky Hawk – a 57 year old brown hawk, Honky is Harry's uncle, and the mayor of Hawks Town. He loves baseball and wears a brown fedora.
  • Helen Hawk – a 55 year old female hawk, Helen is Honky's wife. They had eloped during their high school days.
  • Hack Hawk – Harry's 7 year old nephew and the oldest brother of Hock and Rick. Hack wears red-lined T-shirt and the same color cap.
  • Rick Hawk – Harry's 5 year old nephew and middle of Hawk brothers. Rick wears glasses and blue-lined T-shirt and the same color cap.
  • Hock Hawk – Harry's 3 year old nephew and youngest brother of Hack and Rick. Hock wears a green-lined T-shirt and the same color cap.
  • Homer Hawk – The original mascot of the Hawks from 1989 to 2004 and the older brother of the team's current mascot Harry.

The Hawks also have 2 VTuber avatar mascots, named Takamine Umi and Aritaka Hina. Unveiled on November 9th, 2020, they have their own YouTube channel as well as their own Twitter profiles.[30][31] They also make appearances on the PayPay Dome's video board.

Temporarily in 2020, the Hawks had 10 Spot robots from Boston Dynamics (at the time SoftBank owned Boston Dynamics) and 10 Pepper robots from SoftBank Robotics to replace the fans during a game against the Eagles due to COVID-19 restrictions in NPB games. They were still used when 5,000 fans were allowed in NPB games as fans were still not allowed to sing or use their voices to make noises, only through clapping or cheering batons.[32][33]

The Hawks are the only other team, aside from the Fighters, to have a mascot primarily for their second team, and are the only team with one in the Western League (the Fighters' ni-gun team plays out of the Eastern League), in a chick named Hinamaru. He wears the team's cap, and has an eggshell that looks like a baseball.

The Hawks also have a mascot named Fu-san, who is based on a jet balloon that fans launch during the Lucky 7, prior to when the Hawks are up to bat in the 7th inning.

MLB players[edit]

Retired:

Active:

Note: The Hawks are the only team in NPB to have never posted a player under the current posting system implemented in 1998.[34]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Index by team". NPB. NPB. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  2. ^ "球団理念" (in Japanese). 福岡ソフトバンクホークス. 2023-01-24. Retrieved 2023-01-26.
  3. ^ https://www.softbankhawks.co.jp/company/company_profile.html
  4. ^ "ヤフオクドーム大規模改修で最大収容4万人超え 4球場が大台に/デイリースポーツ online".
  5. ^ https://www.madisontrust.com/information-center/visualizations/richest-sports-team-owners/
  6. ^ Coskrey, Jason (November 26, 2020). "Hawks sweep Giants again to clinch fourth straight Japan Series title". The Japan Times. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  7. ^ https://npb.jp/bis/teams/yearly_h.html
  8. ^ "Kazuto Tsuruoka," Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed March 28, 2015.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Stezano, Martin (2021-11-15). "How MLB's First Japanese Player Made it to Big Leagues". History (American TV network). A&E Networks. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  11. ^ "【4月23日】1988年(昭63) 名物オーナー死去「オレの目の黒いうちはホークスは売らん」". 日めくりプロ野球 (in Japanese). スポーツニッポン新聞社. 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  12. ^ "福岡移転後、主催ゲーム観客動員5,000万人突破のお知らせ" (Press release) (in Japanese). 福岡ソフトバンクホークス. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ a b Whiting, Robert, "Equaling Oh's HR record proved difficult", Japan Times, October 31, 2008, p. 12.
  15. ^ Merron, Jeff, "The Phoniest Records in Sports" Archived June 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine, ESPN.com, February 28, 2003.
  16. ^ Berry, Adam (September 15, 2013). "Balentien breaks Oh's Japanese home run record". MLB.com. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  17. ^ NEWS, KYODO. "Murakami celebrates youngest Triple Crown with 56th homer". Kyodo News+. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  18. ^ "Concerning an Acquisition of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and a Basic Agreement with Hawks Town" (Press release). SoftBank Group. 2004-11-30. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  19. ^ "Acquisition of Fukuoka Yahoo! JAPAN Dome" (Press release). SoftBank Group. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  20. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz. "Yakult's Yamada, Softbank's Yanagita win MVP Awards". Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Hawks earn spot in Japan Series". The Japan Times. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  22. ^ "Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo plans to step down". The Japan Times. News2u Holdings, Inc. 2021-10-10. Retrieved 2022-09-30.
  23. ^ "【ソフトバンク】67年ぶり開幕7連勝!柳田悠岐V弾 藤本監督は新人監督NPB最長記録 - プロ野球 : 日刊スポーツ". nikkansports.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  24. ^ "【データ】オリックスがソフトバンクと勝率で並ぶも直接対決の差でV(日刊スポーツ)". Yahoo!ニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  25. ^ "【ソフトバンク】来季から球界初「4軍制」創設へ 20日ドラフト会議で育成選手を大量指名(スポーツ報知)".
  26. ^ 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 all three eras of the Hawks from 1973 to 2014. This is the only squad number honored to a fictional manga character in the NPB.
  27. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball 福岡ソフトバンクホークス 年度別成績 (1938–2022)". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  28. ^ HAWKS, Fukuoka SoftBank. "ホークファミリー". ソフトバンクホークス オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  29. ^ Hawk, Harry. "ファイト!九州デー". Twitter (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  30. ^ HAWKS, Fukuoka SoftBank. "福岡ソフトバンクホークスVTuber 鷹観音海、有鷹ひな紹介サイト". ソフトバンクホークス オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  31. ^ Dennison, Kara. "Baseball and VTubers Collide as the SoftBank Hawks Debut New Virtual Mascots". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  32. ^ Meet Pepper as the new Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks fan, retrieved 2022-02-23
  33. ^ Dancing robots replace fans at Japanese baseball game, retrieved 2022-02-23
  34. ^ "Hawks ace Kodai Senga can't persuade club to post him, gets raise instead". The Japan Times. News2u Holdings, Inc. 2020-12-26. Retrieved 2022-09-07.

External links[edit]