Monday, November 4, 2013

Mr. Giants - Victory Flag

1962 Doyusha JCM55

I've been spending a lot of time lately doing kanji-based searches in YouTube to see what I can find.  I came across the following clip that contains seven minutes of highlights of Games Five through Seven of the 1963 Nippon Series between the Nishitetsu Lions and the Yomiuri Giants:

Game Five was played at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo and the other two games were played at Heiwadai Stadium in Fukuoka.  Shigeo Nagashima is featured prominently in the clip (as he was MVP of the Series - spoiler alert - the Giants won) as is Sadaharu Oh.  Other players who are fairly obvious are Isao Shibata of the Giants and Futoshi Nakanishi and Kazuhisa Inao of the Lions.

BTW - Game Seven was played 50 years ago today.  Shigeo Nagashima was 27 years old.  Sadaharu Oh was 23(!).

The footage is a little odd.  Most of the game action appears to have been filmed with only one camera - high in the stands on the first base side at both ballparks.  After doing a little more searching, I discovered that this sequence is actually part of a movie about Nagashima made by Toho Studios called "Misutan Jyaiamatsu - Shori No Hata" or "Mr. Giants - Victory Flag".  According to the book The Toho Studios Story, the film was released on February 14, 1964 and is "apparently a baseball drama starring real-life stars Nagashima (the Babe Ruth of Japanese baseball) and teammate Oh - known collectively as ON - from the Yomiuri Giants."

A little more searching on YouTube revealed a multitude of clips from the movie, some more interesting than others.  Without speaking Japanese, it's difficult to figure out what the plot is - if the film actually has a plot.  There's a couple scenes where Nagashima appears to be having issues with his hitting but I don't know if that's a major plot element or not.

I picked out a handful of scenes that I thought were interesting - you can check the search results yourself to see some more.

Here's the opening credits:

Nagashima consults manager Tetsuharu Kawakami about his slump (I actually meant to include this with the memorial post I did on Kawakami last week):

This may be my favorite scene - Nagashima and Oh check their batting forms in the mirror:

Tatsuro Hirooka (#2), Isao Shibata (#12), Motoshi Fujita (#18) and Oh joke in the locker room:

Hirooka, Shibata, Oh and Nagashima coming off the field:

Giants Victory reception:

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