Sunday, March 5, 2017

Card Of The Week March 5

NPB Reddit shared an article from the Japan Times a little over a month ago about Kawasaki Stadium and a famous pair of games there.  Kawasaki Stadium was built in the early 1950's and was home to first the Taiyo Whales (before they moved to Yokohama in 1978) and then to the Lotte Orions (before they moved to Chiba in 1992) as well as the Takahashi Unions from 1954-56.  The ballpark was converted into a football venue in 2000 but some of the old baseball park still remains.

The article discusses a double header played on October 19, 1988 between the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Lotte Orions.  The Buffaloes needed to sweep the last place Orions to pass the Lions (who had already completed their schedule) and clinch the Pacific League pennant.  They won the first game 4-3 but were unable to hold a similar 4-3 lead in the second game when Hideaki Takazawa homered in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game up.  The game ended as a tie after 10 innings (which was the limit at the time) and the Lions won the PL pennant (and went on to beat the Dragons in the Nippon Series).  This particular doubleheader is known in Japan simply as "10.19"

BBM's 2016 "Historic Collection" set celebrating events at old ballparks (The Ballpark Stories) has three cards that deal with this day.  I'm fairly certain that the photos on the cards are from the games.  There's a card of Buffaloes pitcher Hideyuki Awano, who got the save in the first game and I think gave up the home run to Takazawa in the second game:

2016 BBM The Ballpark Stories #134
There's a card of Yoshio Mizukami of Lotte who I think made a game saving play on a ball hit by Hiromasa Arai (at least if I'm understanding this correctly):

2016 BBM The Ballpark Stories #110
And finally there's a card showing Takazawa's home run:

2016 BBM The Ballpark Stories #114

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