The Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes were one of the Japanese professional baseball teams, and belonged to the Pacific Leagues from 1949 to 2004. Their parent company is Kintetsu Railway Co.,Ltd, the biggest private railway in Japan. The team had used Fujiidera Stadium and the Nissei Stadium (Nippon Life Insurance Baseball Stadium), until it changed the home stadium to Osaka Dome in 1997.
The Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes were founded as the Kintetsu Pearls in 1949, sponsored by Kintetsu Railway Co,.Ltd. They were in a slump from the beginning and resulted in an unwanted record of ranking the lowest in the league four years in a row and always placing in Class B. The team name was changed twice; the Kintetsu Buffalo in 1959 and then to the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1962. However, their results were always bad, ending up competing for the bottom of the table in the Pacific league every year until 1967.
However, in 1969, they fought for their first place against the Hankyu Braves and finished second in the season. After that, they were beginning to enter Class A.
And finally in 1979, the Kintetsu Buffaloes led by Manager Yukio Nishimoto won the play-off matches against the Hankyu Braves, and achieved their first league championship in 30 years after the team was founded. In the following year, 1980, they secured the Pacific League title, but in the Japan Series again they were defeated by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, which they had faced the previous year.
In the middle of 1980s, the Seibu Lions, an unrivaled team, began to win a victory in not only the Pacific League but also the world of Japanese baseball. On the other hand, the Buffaloes got Manager Akira Ogi, who was to be in charge of the ORIX during 1990s and brought up and trained Japanese major leaguers, such as Ichiro Suzuki, Sou Taguchi and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Ogi succeeded in leading the Buffaloes to Class A almost every year including their third championship in 1989. In the following year, 1990, Hideo Nomo, who was well known for a tornado pitching and later was to become a pioneer of Japanese MLB players, joined the Buffaloes from the first pick of draft meeting.
In 1999, they started a new phase by changing their team name to the ‘Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes’ in the hope of forming ties with the local corporations and their home area Osaka. However, in the early part of the 2000s, their parent company Kintetsu Railway began to consider selling the team or liquidating the company as one of the ways to eliminate their accumulated deficit, and in 2004, a merger between the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and the ORIX was approved, and then the ORIX Buffaloes were born.
The Kintetsu Buffaloes ended their 55-year history as the only baseball team which won four championships in the Pacific League, but never became the champion in the Japan Series.