Tag Archive > Randy Bass

NPB Bullet Points: Fukui Wins, Hessman Hits, Balentien Hits Way More

» 04 May 2011 » In npb » 1 Comment

Notes to pass along from the last few days of NPB action.

  • Hiroshima pitcher Yuya Fukui posted an emotional win over Yokohama on May 3rd. It was the heralded rookie’s first win since April 20, when his older brother Ryuichi died in a car accident. Ryuichi advised Yuya against signing with Yomiuri when they drafted him in the fourth round out of high school.
  • Takafumi Nakamura, who played last year in the Indians organization, is back in Japan with Shinano of the independent BC League. The lanky righty is hoping to advance to NPB.
  • According to Nikkan Sports, Yomiuri has passed on moving lefty Adam Bright from the ikusei roster to the regular 70-man roster (shihaika).
  • New Orix import Mike Hessman collected his first NPB hit off none other than Yu Darvish, noting that he “had seen him at the Beijing Olympics” and “was glad to get a hit off such a good pitcher.”
  • Hanshin sluggers Takashi Toritani, Takahiro Arai and Craig Brazell hit back-to-back-to-back home runs on May 4th, recalling the fabled 1985 san renpatsu (three consecutive blasts) starring Randy Bass, Masayuki Kakefu, and Akinobu Okada. I couldn’t find video of this week’s renpatsu, so here’s the 1985 version.
  • Wladimir Balentien is off to a hot start in Japan: .387/.487/.885 slash line, nine home runs 61 at bats, and 13 walks against 12 strikeouts.

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The Return of Colonel Sanders

» 16 April 2009 » In npb, sports business » Comments Off

After spending 24 years on the riverbed of Osaka’s polluted Dotonbori, the statue of Colonel Sanders has reemerged. The statue was thrown into the river 24 years ago when fans were celebrating the Hanshin Tigers’ first championship championship since 1964. The statue apparently looked similiar to star player, Randy Bass, and the fans decided to throw the statue into the air to honor him. Nobody thought it was a good idea to pull the statue back up at the time.

24 years have passed and despite coming close on occassions, the Tigers have not reached the top of NPB since. Although it is nowhere near the drought of the Chicago Cubs and their Billy Goat curse, fans have come to believe the Curse of Colonel Sanders is the reason that the Tigers haven’t won another Japan championship. However with its re-discovery on March 10th, die-hard Tigers fans hope that the drought will finally come to an end.

Even though the disappearance of the Colonel Sanders statue was due to fans overreacting after the championship, the Hanshin Tigers are capable of  promoting and marketing the return of the Colonel Sanders as part of thier folklore. The statue has been on couple television shows already and the team hopes to retrieve the statue for the future as it will be taken to the Kentucky Fried Chicken Office in Tokyo for the time being.

The Sankei News has comments from the new manager, Akinobu Mayumi: “The reason for the drought probably is not all about the Colonel Sanders, but receiving all this attention, we should definitely bring the statue back to Koshien.” It is somewhat ironic that he was part of the 1985 championship Hanshin Tigers as a player and will manage his first season in the year that the Colonel Sanders has returned.

There are number of speculations on the future of the statue with stories such as the Chicago Cubs might being interested in borrowing the statue. However, the obvious should be to place the statue in the  Koshien history museum, which will open to public on March of 2010. There is a different Colonel Sanders statue stationed in front of the KFC stand inside Koshien Stadium (the only Colonel Sanders statue inside a ballpark in Japan) and it’s increasing popularity with fans attending the national tournament taking their time to take pictures with the statue.

PR staff from KFC comments: “it’s the only one in the world. We hope to face the “Old” Colonel Sanders statue with our statue inside the ballpark and form a duo.”

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