Thursday, September 8, 2016

More Memories Of Uniforms - Baystars Edition

One of the new professional teams to join the Central League in its debut season of 1950 was the Taiyo Whales who played in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.  The team merged with the Shochiku Robins after the 1952 season and were known as the Taiyo Shochiku Robins for the next two seasons.  The team played their home games in Osaka those two seasons.  Following the 1954 season Shochiku sold their interested in the team and the name reverted to the Taiyo Whales.  At this time the team moved to Kawasaki, Kanagawa where they would remain for the next 22 seasons.  The team moved a little south to Yokohama in time for the 1978 season and became known as the Yokohama Taiyo Whales.  The team name changed to the Yokohama Baystars following the 1992 season due to the parent company changing their name from Taiyo to Maruha.  Maruha sold the team to the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) in 2001 but the team name remained the same.  TBS sold the team to DeNA prior to the 2012 season and the team name became the Yokohama DeNA Baystars.

I rounded up the usual suspects as my sources for this - The History Of UniformProfessional Baseball Uniforms Encyclopedia 1936-2013 and the uniform posts from Yakyu Baka and Yakyu DB.

NOTE - I list all the uniforms I've identified, even ones that I don't have cards for.  Don't panic - the blank spots don't mean there's a photo your browser isn't loading.

1950-51 (2 different)

~1950 Uncataloged Bromide

1950 JBR 2

1951 (2 different)

1952 Home

1952 Away

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #447
1953 (4 different)

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #088
1954 Home

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #066
1954 Away

1955 Home

1955 Away

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #328
1955-56 (2 different)

1955-58 Home

1957 JBR17
1955-58 Away

1959 Doyusha Game Set
1959 Home

1961 Marukami JCM 14d
1959 Away

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #098
1960-62 Home

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #043
1960-62 Away

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #042
1961-62 Home

1963 Home

1963 Marukami JCM 14f
1963 Away

1964-67 Home

1964-67 Away
2004 BBM Golden Arms #007
1964-67 Home "Kawasaki"

1968-72 Home

1973 Calbee #56
1968-72 Away

2005 BBM Glorious Stars #040
1968-72 Home "Kawasaki"

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #038

1973 Home

2002 BBM All Time Heroes #042
1973 Away
2015 BBM Whales Achievement #17

1974-77 Home

1977 Yamakatsu JY3
1974-77 Away

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #039

1978-92 Home

1979 Yamakatsu JY8 #74
1978-92 Away

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #040
1993-95 Home

1993 BBM #367
1993-95 Away

1993 BBM #359
1996-08 Home

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #041
1996-05 Away

1998 BBM Nippon Series #S6
2000-10 Shonan Searex Home

2001 BBM #329
2000-10 Shonan Searex Away

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #042
2004 Home April

2004 BBM 2nd Version #792
2004 Home September

2005 BBM 1st Version #462
2004-05 Alternate

2006 BBM 1st Version #312
2005-06 Interleague Home

2005 BBM 2nd Version #813
2005-06 Interleague Away

2006 BBM 2nd Version #655
2006-07 Alternate

2007 BBM Baystars #YB040
2006-08 Away

2007 BBM 2nd Version #674
2007-08 Interleague Home

2007 BBM 2nd Version #668
2009-11 Home

2009 BBM 2nd Version #732
2009-11 Away

2010 BBM 1st Version #207
2010-11 Alternate

2011 BBM 1st Version #313
2010 Great Central

2012-2014 Home

2012 BBM 1st Version #312
2012-2013 Away

2012 BBM 1st Version #299
2012 Great Central

2012 Away "Old Style"

2013 3rd

2013 BBM 2nd Version #540
2013 StarNight

2014 Front Runner Trading Cards Baystars Rookies & Young Stars #14
2014-15 Away

2015 BBM Baystars #DB17
2014 StarNight

2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform #044
2015- Home

2015 BBM Baystars #DB58
2015 StarNight

2016- Away

2016 Calbee #142
2016 Throwback

2016 BBM 2nd Version #587
2016 StarNight


I think I did pretty well on this one considering the multitude of uniforms and the fact that there really aren't any OB team sets for the Whales/Baystars that cover the years before 1978.  Although I don't understand how I managed to do this without a card of Takuro Ishii.

The only difference between the 1964-67 and 1968-72 uniforms are the hats.  Same thing with the 1993-95 and 1996-08 uniforms (1996-05 for Away).  The Baystars also apparently had different hats that they wore in April and September of 2004.

The colors are wrong on the uncataloged bromide I'm using for one of the 1950-51 uniforms.  "Whales" should be in navy not red.

I believe that the Whales were the first Japanese team to have numbers names on the back of their uniforms.  They started in 1964.  They also had a variant that had "Kawasaki" (the team's home city) on the back in place of the name.

There's numerous differences between the illustrations in HOU and the photos in PBUE.  For the most part I went with what PBUE said.

The Baystars farm team was sponsored by a company called Shonan from 2000 to 2010 so the team was known as the Shonan Searex.  They had a uniform that was different than the parent team.  (Orix did something similar but I've never seen a baseball card of a player wearing a Kobe Surpass uniform.)

I'm making a best guess on the cards I'm using for the 1973 uniforms.  Daisuke Yamashita was a rookie in 1974 so I'm theorizing that he wore the 1973 uniforms in training camp that season.

There are two uniforms on cards that I have not been able to identify.  The first is this card of Toru Mori from the 2015 BBM Memories Of Uniform set (#037):

The Whales won the 1960 Japan Series and wore the patch you see on the left sleeve of Mori's jersey during the 1961 season.  But Mori didn't join the Whales until 1962 and I've seen no pictures indicating that the Whales had a jersey at that time that did not have the player's uniform number on the front.  All I can guess is that this was something he wore during training camp in 1962.

The other uniform I can't place is on this card of Masaji Hiramatsu from the 2002 BBM All Time Heroes set (#037):

The uniform looks very much like the Away uniform worn between 1964 and 1972 but I've only seen that hat with the 1973 Home uniform.  I've got no idea unless there simply was another hat used in those years (or at least after Hiramatsu's rookie season of 1967).


Sean said...

Nice overview. I like that old bromide (even with the wrong color on the name).

Also I didn`t realize before that the Whales/Baystars originally played in Shimonoseki. That is really bizarre, Shimonoseki is a tiny city in the middle of nowhere, I wonder how they ended up down there.

NPB Card Guy said...


The Taiyo corporation was based in Simonoseki in the late 1940's. The team itself started out as an amateur team in the 1930's (basically what we would think of as an industrial league team today) run by Taiyo. They "went professional" in 1950 when the two league system started up.