Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Memories Of Uniform - Everybody Else Edition

There are a handful of teams in Japanese professional baseball history that longer exist.  Many of these teams "merged" into other teams but some merely folded.  The BBM Memories Of Uniform set really didn't address any of these teams (with the exception of Kintetsu) so I thought I'd finish off this series of posts with a round up of these teams.  I'm not expecting to find too many representative cards as the most recent team to disappear before Kintetsu in 2004 was the Daiei Unons in 1957.

As always I'm using The History Of Uniform and the Professional Baseball Uniforms Encyclopedia 1936-2013 as sources.

Dai Tokyo

The Dai Tokyo team was one of the original teams in the Japanese Baseball League (JBL) in 1936.  As you might guess from the name, they played in Tokyo.  They changed their name to Lion (yes, singular) midway through the Fall 1937 season (the JBL played a fall season in 1936 and spring and fall seasons in 1937 and 1938).  In 1941 the team moved to Osaka and changed their name to Asahi.  Pro baseball in Japan shut down in 1945 due to the war.  When things started up again in 1946 the team was now known as Pacific.  The name changed again to the Taiyo Robins in 1947 - the "Taiyo" involved was the fabric store owned by team owner Komajiro Tamura - Taiyo Rayon, as opposed to the Taiyo Fishing Company, an amateur baseball team owned by the Maruha Corporation that would become the Taiyo Whales in 1950.  Tamura sold a share of the team to the Shochiku movie studio and the team was renamed the Shochiku Robins in 1950 as they moved into the Central League when the single league JBL transformed into the two league Nippon Professional Baseball organization.  The Robins won the initial Central League pennant that year before losing to the Mainichi Orions in the first Nippon Series.  The team merged with the Taiyo Whales following the 1952 season to become the Taiyo Shochiku Robins in 1953 and the Yosho Robins in 1954.  Shochiku divested themselves of the team after 1954 and the team named reverted to the Taiyo Whales.  (Source Wikipedia.)

I've covered the merged team's uniforms with the Baystars uniform history so I'm only doing up to 1952 here.

1936-37 (2 different)

1937-40 (4 different)

1940-42 (2 different)

1941-43 (2 different)

1946 (2 different)

2004 BBM Golden Arms #001
1947-48 (2 different)

2012 BBM No-Hitters #21
1949 JBR 53 (Junzo Sanada)
1949 (2 different)

1950 Home (2 different)

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #035
1950 Away (2 different)

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #036
~1950 Uncatalouged Giant Bromide (Makoto Kozuru)
1951 Home

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #034
1951 Away

1952 Home

1952 Away
2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #209

Tokyo Senators

Another one of the inaugural JBL teams in 1936 was the Tokyo Senators.  The team changed it's name to Tsubasa in 1940 as part of the move away from English names in the league.  They merged with the Nagoya Kinko club in 1941 and became known as Taiyo (which as far as I know had no relation to either the Taiyo Robins or the Taiyo Whales).  They were sold to the Nishi-Nippon Railroad and renamed Nishitetsu for the 1943 season, after which they folded.  Nishi-Nippon of course ended up with two teams in 1950 - the Nishitetsu Clippers and Nishi-Nippon Pirates who merged to become the team now known as the Saitama Seibu Lions.  This is why the Lions wore Tokyo Senators uniforms for the Lions Classic series in 2013.  (Source Wikipedia.)

1936-37 (2 different)

1937-40 (2 different)
2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #049

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #060

1941-42 (2 different)

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #169

Nagoya Kinko

The Nagoya Golden Dolphins were another inaugural JBL team in 1936.  They changed their name to Nagoya Kinko in 1937 and kept that name until they merged with Tsubasa in 1941.   (Source Wikipedia.)

1936-37 (2 different)

1937-40 (2 different)

Korakuen Eagles

The Korakuen Eagles entered the JBL in time for the spring 1937 season.  They changed their name to Kurowashi in 1940 and then to Yamato in 1942 when they were purchased by Yamato Ironworks  president Kenkichi Saeki.  The team folded following the 1943 season.  (Source Wikipedia.)

1937 (3 different)

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #385

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #265
1938-40 (2 different)

2012 BBM No-Hitters #06
1940-42 (2 different)

Gold Star

The Gold Star team entered the JBL when the league resumed business in 1946 after the war.  They were owned by Komajiro Tamura, the same man who owned the Taiyo Robins.  The team changed its name to the Kinsei Stars in 1947.  Tamura sold the team to the Daiei Motion Picture Company (not to be confused with the Daiei Supermarket chain which owned the Hawks from 1989 to 2004 - that chain would not be founded until 1957) before the 1949 season and the team was renamed the Daiei Stars.  The team would merge with the Takahashi Unions in 1957 to become the Daiei Unions and them again with the Mainichi Orions in 1958 to become the Daimai Orions.  (This was the final merger in NPB until Orix and Kintetsu merged following the 2004 season and it brought the number of teams down to twelve.)  (Source Wikipedia.)

1946 (2 different)

~1946 Uncatalouged Bromide (Isao Tsuji)

~1946 Uncatalouged Bromide (Michio Nishizawa)
1947-48 (2 different)

~1948 Uncatalouged Bromide (Hatsuo Kiyohara)

1948 (2 different)

1949-50 (2 different)

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #362
~1949 Uncatalouged Bromide (Shigeya Iijima)
1951-54 Home

2012 BBM No-Hitters #24
1951-54 Away

1953-54 Home

1953-54 Away

1955-56 Home (2 different)

1955-56 Away

1957 Home

1957 Away

2006 BBM Record Makers #072

Takahashi Unions

The Takahashi Unions entered the Pacific League in 1954 in an attempt to bring the league to an even number of teams after four seasons of having an unwieldy seven teams in the league.  The team was owned by and named for Ryutaro Takahashi who had owned the Korakuen Eagles from 1939 to 1941.  The team's name changed to the Tombow Unions in 1955 when Tombow Pencil bought into the team and reverted to the Takahashi Unions when Tombow dropped their share of the team in 1956.  The team merged with the Daiei Stars in 1957 to become the Daiei Unions (which put the Pacific League back at seven teams until the Unions merged with the Orions the following season).  (Source Wikipedia.)

The Unions played all three seasons at Kawasaki Stadium - the team they eventually merged into would call this stadium home from 1978 to 1991.

1954 Home

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #242
1954 Away

1955 Home

1955 Away

1956 Home

1956 Away

~1956 Uncatalouged Bromide (Shiro Itoh)

This was going to be a tough one as half of these teams didn't survive the war so they didn't exist when there were any baseball cards of professional teams.  I did the best I could.

Neither source shows a Yamato uniform for 1943.

I'm pretty sure that's the 1951 Robins home uniform being worn by Ohoko because of the red sleeves.  There's a patch on the right arm that indicates the Robins were the 1950 Central League champs but it can't be seen in this shot.

It's hard to tell since they're black and white photos but those are actually two different uniforms in the two Harris McGalliard cards.  The uniform in the photo with his hat off is white while the uniform in the other photo is grey.  I'm assuming this from HOU saying that the white uniforms used white socks with a black stripe while the grey uniforms used black socks with white stripes.

UPDATE 12/31/17 - Added Gold Star and Kinsei Stars uniforms

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