The Fukuoka Daiei Hawks were the predecessor of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. In 1988, Daiei Inc, which runs a supermarket chain in Kanto and Kinki area, purchased the management right of the team from Nankai Electric Railway Co.,Ltd, a leading private railway company in Kansai region, and the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks were born.
The Daiei moved the team’s home stadium, from Osaka Stadium to Heiwadai Stadium in Fukuoka and then in 1993 to Fukuoka Dome, a newly-built ballpark.
Even though their parent company and home stadium were changed, they continued to be in a slump and set an unwanted record. In their first year, they came in fourth, and in the following year, 1990, they finished last and lost 85 games, which was the worst record after the two league NPB system started.
In 1995, Sadaharu Oh, who had led the Giants to the championship, was installed as a manager in 1995, but the Daiei Hawks remained in a slump, and in 1997, they set the record of Class B for 20 consecutive years and broke the worst record in Japanese professional baseball. After the game, a fan threw a raw egg at the bus which Oh was in.
However, soon after that, things changed for the better. In the latter half of the season, Hawks got in line for the championship, and came in third, which was a tie with the Orix Bluwave. The team finally managed to get out of the Class B
And in the following year, 1999, the Daiei Hawks won the Pacific league championship for the first time in 36 years including the period of the Nankai Hawks, and also it was their first victory as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. They also defeated the Chunichi Dragons with four wins and one loss, and secured the Japan Series title. In 2000, they were crowned the Pacific League champions for the 2nd strait time. In the Japan Series, they faced the Giants led by Manager Shigeo Nagashima, who was a fellow member when Oh and Nagashima were on the active list. These games in the Japan series were called ‘ON competition’, which made all the people in Japan so excited.
The Daiei Hawks won three league championships, two Japan Series titles and seven Class-A stages, until in 2004, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a leading IT company, purchased the management right of the Hawks from Daiei Inc.