Orix Buffaloes

Orix Buffaloes
Buffaloeslogo.PNG Buffaloesinsignia.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
League Nippon Professional Baseball
Pacific League (1950–present)
Japanese Baseball League (1936–1949)
Location Nishi-ku, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Ballpark Kyocera Dome Osaka
Year founded 1936
Pacific League championships 12 (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1995, 1996)
Japan Series championships 4 (1975, 1976, 1977, 1996)
Former name(s)
  • Orix Buffaloes (2005–present)
  • Orix BlueWave (1991–2004)
  • Orix Braves (1989–1990)
  • Hankyu Braves (1947–1988)
  • Hankyu Club (1936–1946)
Former ballparks
Colors Navy, Gold, White
     
Mascot Buffalo Bull and Buffalo Bell
Playoff berths 7 (1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2008, 2014)
Ownership Yoshihiko Miyauchi
Management Orix
Manager Satoshi Nakajima (interim)
Uniforms
Orix Buffaloes uniforms.png

The Orix Buffaloes (オリックス・バファローズ, Orikkusu Bafarōzu) are a Nippon Professional Baseball team formed as a result of the 2004 Nippon Professional Baseball realignment by the merger of the Orix BlueWave of Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, and the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. The team plays in the Pacific League and is under ownership by the Orix Group, a leading diversified financial services company based in Tokyo.

The combined team began play in 2005. The Buffaloes split home games between Kobe Sports Park Baseball Stadium, the former home of the BlueWave, and the Osaka Dome, which was the home of the original Buffaloes franchise.

Franchise history

Hankyu/Orix (1936–2004)

The Orix BlueWave was founded in 1936 under the ownership of a Japanese railway company Hanshin Kyuko Railway Company (阪神急行電鉄, Hanshin Kyuko Dentetsu, present: Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc.), as Osaka Hankyu Baseball Club (大阪阪急野球協会, Ōsaka hankyū yakyū kyōkai). Later nicknamed the Hankyu Braves, it was one of the first professional baseball teams in Japan.

In the early 1950s, the franchise made a dedicated effort to attract foreign talent, particularly African-American veterans of Negro league baseball,[1] including infielders John Britton and Larry Raines, and pitchers Jimmy Newberry and Rufus Gaines. These players were the first Americans other than Wally Yonamine to play Nippon Professional Baseball after World War II.

Starting in the mid-1960s, the Braves became one of the dominant teams not only in the Pacific League but in all of Japanese professional baseball. Between 1967 and 1972, the Hankyu Braves won the Pacific League pennant five times but lost the Japan Series each time against the Yomiuri Giants. Manager Yukio Nishimoto was known as "the great manager in tragedy" because of those losses. But the Hankyu Braves won Japan Series three times in a row from 1975, against the Tokyo Giants in 1976 and 1977, led by manager Toshiharu Ueda. At that time, many good players in Japanese baseball history played for the Hankyu Braves, including pitcher Hisashi Yamada and outfielder Yutaka Fukumoto.

In the 1980s, the team still went strong but lost the pennant to the Seibu Lions every year except 1984.

On October 19, 1988, Hankyu Railway sold the franchise to the lease company Orient Lease (since 1989 known as Orix Group), in what was known as "the longest day of the Pacific League". The reason is that when the franchise sale occurred, the Kintetsu Buffaloes played the legendary "10.19" double-header for the Pacific League pennant, only to miss the pennant out because of a tie game. The sale was a surprise, at that time, it was much rarer for a Japanese professional baseball team to change owners, not to mention for a large company to sell one of its parts. In that case, Hankyu Railway was thought of as one of the big companies that would never need to do such a thing.

The sale was not without two assurances: the team name would remain "Braves," and the franchise would stay in Nishinomiya. During the first two years of new ownership, the team was known as the Orix Braves and played in Nishinomiya.

In 1991, the team moved to Kobe and became the Orix BlueWave. Longtime fans were shocked by these changes. However, since Nishinomiya and Kobe are close to one another, and the new home field of the team was better than the old one, most fans accepted the move, although with some nostalgia for the historic "Braves" name. The team was sometimes called Aonami or Seiha (青波) by fans and the baseball media, which means "blue wave" in Japanese.

Led by Ichiro Suzuki in 1995 and 1996, the Orix BlueWave won the Pacific League pennant. In 1996, they also won the Japan Series.

Orix Buffaloes (2005 to present)

Following the 2004 Nippon Professional Baseball realignment, the BlueWave merged with the Kintetsu Buffaloes. The team struggled since its merger, only finishing in the top half (or A Class) of the Pacific league once from 2005 to 2013. In 2008, The Buffaloes finished 2nd in the Pacific League, going 75-68-1 and finishing 2 1/2 games behind the Saitama Seibu Lions, but were swept by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters at home in the 1st stage of the Climax Series.

Current roster

First squad Second squad

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

Head coach
  • 88 Katsumi Mizumoto
Pitching
Position player/hitting
Hitting
Infield defense/base running
  • 76 Naoyuki Kazaoka
Outfield defense/base running
Battery
  • 87 Toshio Saitoh
Bullpen
  • 91 Daisuke Iida
Pitchers

Catchers

  • 44 Yuma Tongu
  • 62 Takuma Nakagawa
Infielders
  • 0 Shoki Katsumata
  • 9 Koji Ohshiro
  • 31 Ryo Ohta
  • 40 Seiichiro Ohshita
  • 42 Rangel Ravelo
  • 64 Shinya Hirosawa

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

Patrol head coach
  • Seiichiro Nakagaki
Pitching
Hitting
Infield defense/base running
Outfield defense/base running
Battery
Development general
  • 90 Shusaku Beppu
Development
Mental
Development Players
  • 001 Kazuma Satoh (P)
  • 002 Futa Tanioka (P)
  • 003 Yuito Nakata (P)
  • 004 Yamato Hirano (OF)
  • 005 Ryoya Tsurumi (C)
  • 007 Yugo Satoh (OF)
  • 008 Masayuki Matsuyama (P)
  • 011 Kento Kawase (P)
  • 012 Takara Tsujigaki (P)
  • 013 Yuki Udagawa (P)
  • 014 Jui Tsuri (C)
  • 016 Taku Kocho (IF)
  • 120 Daisuke Okazaki (IF)
  • 123 Hiroki Inatomi (C)
  • 124 Taisuke Kondoh (P)
  • 125 Hayato Nishiura (OF)
  • 127 Tsubasa Tashiro (OF)
  • 128 Kohei Azuma (P)
  • 130 Felipe Kissu De Souza (C)
Updated August 25, 2021 All NPB rosters


Baseball Hall of Famers

Elected mainly for Hankyu Braves service

Elected for service with other teams, as well as Hankyu and Orix

  • Hiromitsu Kadota, DH, 1989–1990 (inducted 2006)
  • Futoshi Nakanishi, Head coach / Hitting coach, 1985–1990†, 1995–1997 (inducted 1999) †For Kintetsu Buffaloes
  • Akira Ōgi, MGR 1988–1992†, 1994–2001, 2005 (inducted 2004)
  • Toshiharu Ueda, MGR, 1974–1978, 1981–1990 (inducted 2003)

Elected mainly for Kintetsu Buffaloes service

Notable former players and managers

as Orix Buffaloes

as Orix BlueWave

as Kintetsu (and Osaka Kintetsu) Buffaloes

as Hankyu (and Orix) Braves

MLB players

Active:

Former:

Managers

No. Years
in office
YR Managers G W L T Win% Pacific League
championships
Japan Series
championships
Playoff
berths
1 1936 1 Daisuke Miyake 48 28 19 1 .596
2 1937 1 Daisuke Miyake,
Minoru Murakami (1st)
105 45 55 5 .445
3 1938 1 Minoru Yamashita 75 42 30 3 .583
4 1939 1 Minoru Yamashita,
Minoru Murakami (2nd)
96 58 36 2 .617
5 1940-1942 3 Toshiharu Inokawa 294 163 119 12 .578
6 1943-1947 4 Masao Nishimura (1st) 343 159 175 9 .476
7 1948-1953 6 Shinji Hamazaki 720 342 357 21 .489
8 1954-1956 3 Masao Nishimura (2nd) 436 234 194 8 .547
9 1957-1958 2 Sadayoshi Fujimoto 262 144 106 12 .576
10 1959 1 Sadayoshi Fujimoto,
Katsuki Tokura
134 48 82 4 .369
11 1960-1962 3 Katsuki Tokura 407 178 219 10 .448
12 1963-1973 11 Yukio Nishimoto 1,492 792 655 45 .547 5 times
(1967,1968,1969,
1971,1972)
1 (1973)
13 1974-1978 5 Toshiharu Ueda (1st) 650 363 245 42 .597 4 times
(1975,1976,
1977,1978)
3 times
(1975,1976,1977)
3 times
(1974,1975,1977)
14 1979-1980 2 Takao Kajimoto 260 133 111 16 .545 1 (1979)
15 1981-1990 10 Toshiharu Ueda (2nd) 1,300 664 572 64 .537 1 (1984)
16 1991-1993 3 Shozo Doi 390 195 183 12 .516
17 1994-2001 8 Akira Ohgi (1st) 1,070 563 481 26 .539 2 (1995,1996) 1 (1996)
18 2002 1 Hiromichi Ishige 140 50 87 3 .365
19 2003 1 Hiromichi Ishige,
Leon Lee
140 48 88 4 .353
20 2004 1 Haruki Ihara 133 49 82 2 .374
21 2005 1 Akira Ohgi (2nd) 136 62 70 4 .470
22 2006 1 Katsuhiro Nakamura 136 52 81 3 .391
23 2007 1 Terry Collins 144 62 77 5 .446
24 2008 1 Terry Collins,
Daijiro Oishi
144 75 68 1 .524 1 (2008)
25 2009 1 Daijiro Oishi 144 56 86 2 .394
26 2010-2012 3 Akinobu Okada 432 195 216 21 .474
27 2013-2015 3 Hiroshi Moriwaki 431 207 215 9 .491 1 (2014)
28 2016-2018 3 Junichi Fukura 429 185 235 9 .440
29 2019-2020 3 Norifumi Nishimura 263 106 143 14 .426
30 2021–present 1 Satoshi Nakajima
Totals 86 seasons 24 managers 10,754 5,298 5,087 369 .510 12 times 4 times 7 times
  • Statistics current through the end of the 2020 season.[3]

Mascots

1981 until 1990
  • Bravey (ブレービー) #100, a large bird
  • Yuta (勇太) #101, a younger bird
  • Braves Boy (ブレーブス坊や), a baseball headed warrior
1991 until 2010
  • Neppie (ネッピー) #111, a young boy
  • Ripsea (リプシー) #222, a young girl
since 2011
  • Buffalo Bull (バッファローブル) #111, a male buffalo, Bell's brother
  • Buffalo Bell (バッファローベル) #222, a female buffalo, Bull's sister

References

  1. ^ Zurui, "Negro Leaguers in Japan," Archived 2016-05-03 at the Wayback Machine BlackTokyo (September 12, 2008).
  2. ^ Whiting, Robert (1989). You Gotta Have Wa. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 287–88. ISBN 0-679-72947-X.
  3. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball オリックス・バファローズ 年度別成績 (1936-2021)". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved August 19, 2021.

External links

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