‘Japan’s version of Lotte’ Hanshin wins for the first time in 38 years…Japanese media “Hanshin and Oryx could win together for the first time ever”
The Hanshin Tigers and Oryx Buffaloes, both based in Japan’s Kansai region, are raising their chances of winning the title together.
Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports reported on Sept. 28 that “both Hanshin and Oryx could clinch the league title as early as Sept. 10.”
Hanshin is a popular Nippon Professional Baseball team that is often compared to the KBO’s Lotte. The similarities between Hanshin and Lotte include the fact that their hometown of Osaka (their home stadium, Koshien Stadium, is located in Hyogo Prefecture) is known for its similarity to Lotte’s hometown of Busan, the fact that they have a passionate fan base, and the fact that they haven’t won a championship in a long time.
Hanshin, which hasn’t won the Nippon Series since 1985, leads the Central League this season with 69 wins, four ties and 42 losses for a .622 winning percentage. They have a seven-game lead over second-place Hiroshima (63 wins, four ties and 50 losses).
Like Hanshin, the Osaka-based Oryx are inching closer to winning the Pacific League title. With 68 wins, four draws, and 40 losses for a .630 winning percentage, they have a 10.5-game lead over second-place Chiba Lotte (56 wins, five draws, and 49 losses).
Nikkan Sports said, “If the Central and Pacific League titles are clinched on the same day, it will be the first time in 65 years that Yomiuri and Nishitetsu (now Seibu) have done so since 1958. It would be only the fourth time in history.”
It would be the first time in history that two teams from the Kansai region have won the league title at the same time. Even during the time of Oryx’s predecessor, Hankyu, Hanshin and Oryx had never won the league title at the same time. Hankyu won the title in 1984 and Hanshin in 1985, but were unable to do so within a year of each other.
Nikkan Sports said, “In 1995 and 1996, when the Oryx won back-to-back league titles, Hanshin finished last for two consecutive years. The Oryx also won back-to-back league titles in 2021 and 2022, but Hanshin finished second and third in the league. Conversely, there have been few years when both teams have been dominant, with the Oryx finishing last in 2003, when Hanshin won the title, and the Oryx finishing fourth in 2005.”스포츠토토
Hanshin and Oryx have never won a league title together and have never met in the Japan Series. If both teams make it to the Japan Series, it will be their first-ever meeting in the series. Unlike Hanshin, who won their first and last title in 1985, Oryx won their fifth Japan Series title last year after winning in 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1996.