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Daiei Unions

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Established : 1946
Sport : Baseball
Event : _Defunct Baseball Teams
Location : Japan
Manajer :
Other Name :
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Homeground : Korakuen Stadium
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Daiei Unions

The Daiei Stars (大映スターズ Daiei Sutāzu) were a Japanese professional baseball team that was founded in 1946, and played in various incarnations until 1957. Overall, the franchise only had three winning seasons, never rising higher than third place. They were in the second division, or B-class, for seven seasons, including their last four years. The Stars played in Korakuen Stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Franchise history Japanese Baseball League The franchise was founded in 1946 as Gold Star, a new post-war team in the Japanese Baseball League. They were owned by textile manufacturer and Lucky Gold Star Telephones owner Komajiro Tamura, who also owned Pacific (formerly Asahi). Gold Star consisted mostly of former Asahi Baseball Club players, and was managed by Asahi's former manager Michinori Tubouchi. In the team's inaugural season, they won 43 games and lost 60, finishing 22 games out of first place. In 1947 the team became the Kinsei Stars ("Kinsei" meaning gold star in Japanese) and signed long-time Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants pitcher Victor Starffin (who came over from Tamura's other team, the Taiyo Robins (formerly Gold Star). Starffin pitched for the franchise for six seasons, winning 80 games and losing 70. 1948 was also when the team hired Sadayoshi Fujimoto as manager (he stayed at the helm of the team until partway through their final season, 1956). In 1949, after being bought by Masaichi Nagata/Daiei Film, the team changed its name to the Daiei Stars, with Nagata serving as team president. Nippon Professional Baseball In 1950 the Stars became charter members of the Pacific League when the JBL reorganized into Nippon Professional Baseball and split into two distinct entities. Outfielder Shigeya Iijima was a league Best Nine Award-winner in 1950–1951. He led the Pacific League in batting in 1952, hitting .336, while his teammate Giichi Hayashi led the league in innings pitched, with 269-2⁄3. Merger In 1957, the Stars merged with the Takahashi Unions to form the Daiei Unions. The Unions existed for a single season, finishing last in the Pacific League, at 41-89-2, 43-1/2 games out of first. Pitcher Masayoshi Miura led the Pacific League in losses, with 21. In 1958, the Unions merged with the Mainichi Orions to form the Daimai Orions. This enabled the Pacific League to shrink from the ungainly seven-team arrangement (caused by the 1957 merger) to six teams.

Korakuen Stadium

Korakuen Stadium (後楽園球場 Kōrakuen Kyūjō) was a stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Completed in 1937, it was primarily used for baseball and was home to the Yomiuri Giants until 1988 when they moved next door, to the Tokyo Dome, which sits on the site of the Velodrome. The ballpark had a capacity of 50,000 people. In 1942 Korakuen Stadium played host to a memorable 28 inning, 311 pitch, complete game effort by Michio Nishizawa. It also hosted the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. On August 16, 1976, it hosted the first NFL game played outside of North America when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Diego Chargers 20-10 in a preseason game before 38,000. It also hosted the Mirage Bowl. The stadium was also used as a concert venue for superstars. This included the all-day "For Freedom" show, on April 4, 1978, which was the marathon farewell performance by Candies, a top Japanese girl group of the time. On March 31, 1981, Pink Lady, another top Japanese girl group of the time, performed their farewell concert. In June 1987, Madonna sold all of the 65,000 available tickets for 3 concerts (around 21,600 per show) on the Who's That Girl Tour in a few hours. The second night was shown on TV in Japan and was later released on VHS and LaserDisc. Michael Jackson kicked off the Bad World Tour, his first tour as a solo artist, with three sold-out concerts in September 12-13-14 1987 at the stadium, with total attendance of 135,000. Korakuen Stadium closed on November 8, 1987 and demolition began the next day, which was completed in February 1988. The former site of the right-center field area is now occupied by a high-rise, the Tokyo Dome Hotel. The remainder of the former ballpark site is a plaza for the Tokyo Dome and the hotel.

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