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Takahashi Unions

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Established : 1954
Sport : Baseball
Event : _Defunct Baseball Teams
Location : Japan
Manajer :
Other Name :
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Homeground : Kawasaki Stadium
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Takahashi Unions

The Takahashi Unions (高橋ユニオンズ Takahashi Yunionzu) were a Japanese team in Nippon Professional Baseball. A Pacific League expansion team in 1954, they were brought into the league to increase the number of teams to eight. The team was stocked with players from the other Pacific League teams, including aging pitcher Victor Starffin. In their three years of existence the team finished in the second division every season. The Unions played their games at Kawasaki Stadium in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. Franchise history The Pacific League had seven teams since the Japan Baseball League split into the Central and the Pacific League, but having an odd number of teams was inconvenient for scheduling and playoffs. Therefore, in 1953 it was decided that any team which finished below a winning percentage of .350 would be disbanded. However, all the teams finished above the mark (Kintetsu had the worst record at .410) — therefore the league decided to admit an eighth team, the Unions. The Unions were owned by Ryutaro Takahashi, the former president of Dai-Nippon Beer and owner of the Eagles Baseball Club/Kurowashi Black Eagles from 1939 to 1941. Takahashi had originally wanted to name the Unions the "Takahashi Eagles" after himself and a beer that had been produced by Dai-Nippon. However, the teams's name ended up being chosen by a public vote. The team became the Tombo Unions after Tombow Pencil bought a share of the team in 1955, but reverted to its original name after Tombow withdrew before the following year. Starffin pitched for the team in 1954–1955, going a combined 15-34, but managing to earn his 300th career win with the team. The Unions, now in financial trouble, only lasted one more year before they merged with the Daiei Stars on February 26, 1957, to form the Daiei Unions.

Kawasaki Stadium

Kawasaki Stadium (川崎球場 Kawasaki Kyūjō) was a stadium in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. The stadium was opened in 1952 and had a capacity of 30,000 people. It was primarily used for baseball and was home of the Taiyo Whales until they moved to Yokohama in 1977 and became the Yokohama Taiyo Whales. It was also home to the Takahashi Unions from 1954 to 1956, before they became the Daiei Unions, and the Lotte Orions before they moved to Chiba in 1992 and became the Chiba Lotte Marines. The venue was used by Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling for its annual Anniversary Show from 1991 to 1997 until it was demolished in 1998. FMW returned for one more show in 2001.

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