The Hiroshima Toyo Carp are a Japanese professional baseball team and belong to the Central League. Their home stadium is MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima in Nishi-ku, Hiroshima City.
The team was founded in 1950 in order for Hiroshima to recover from catastrophic damage caused by the atomic bombing. The Carp are unique among the twelve NPB teams as they are the only baseball team supported by the citizens of Hiroshima without having a parent company. Mazda Motor Corporation in Hiroshima is the largest stockholder with over one-third of the shares and successive owners are from the Matsuda family.
The Crap, which are a leading baseball team of Japan, are proud of having won seven league championships and three Japan Series titles. From the 1970s to the second half of the 1980s, which was their golden age, they dominated the world of Japanese professional baseball and created a sensation called ‘akaheru senpu’ all over Japan.
At that time, Koji Yamamoto, a slugger, and Sachio Kinugasa nicknamed Tetsujin (Iron Man) played an active role in the team. On June 13, 1987, in the game against the Chunichi Dragons, Kinugasa broke the world record with a streak of 2130 consecutive games set by Lou Gehrig of MLB, which made Kinugasa famous worldwide.
Kinugasa broke his own record and extended it to 2215, but on June 12, 1996, Calvin Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles broke the record.
After winning the Central League championship in 1991, the Carp stayed in a slump, and it took 25 years for them to win the championship in 2016. In the 1990s, Hiroki Kuroda, and in the middle of the 2000s, Kenta Maeda, both of whom were the best starters in the Japan Professional Baseball, were very active. However, the Carp stayed in Class B for 18 consecutive years, and as a result Kuroda and Maeda moved to Major League in America.
Kuroda was active as a leading starting pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. In 2016, when it was his second year after he returned to the Carp, the Carp won the Central League championship, and he achieved 200 wins in his combined professional baseball career in Japan and the United States, and retired from professional baseball. Kenta Maeda achieved 16 wins in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, and took first place as a Japanese pitcher in his first year, which was a tie record for the wins Darvish had set.