The Orix Buffaloes are a Japanese professional baseball team and belong to Pacific League. The team’s home stadium is Kyocera Dome Osaka located in Nishi-ku, Osaka City, and the second home stadium is Hotto Motto Field Kobe in Harima-ku, Kobe City, and Hyogo Prefecture. Their parent company is Orix, Leasing Co.,Ltd.
In 2004, the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Orix Blue Waves were merged into the Orix Buffaloes, which are the only baseball team to be merged after the year of 2000 among the twelve professional baseball teams. In 1936 Kobayashi Ichizou, the founder of Hankyu Railway Company, founded ‘the Osaka Hankyu Baseball Association’, whose name was changed to ‘the Hankyu Braves’ in 1947. They had been active for 41 years until they were purchased by Orix Co.,Ltd in 1988.
Later, the team’s name was changed to the ‘Orix Braves’ and then the ‘Orix Blue Wave’. The team was merged with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes, and has become the Orix Buffaloes.
The Orix Buffaloes are proud of their great achievement. Including the results in the era of the Hankyu Braves, they have won the league championship 12 times, the Japan Series title 4 times, and entered Class A 47 times. The team was in its greatest glory from the 60s to the 70s, achieving four, three and two consecutive Pacific league championships.
Ichiro Suzuki is the most well-known baseball player from Orix. Ichiro, who was drafted fourth, joined the team in 1991, but he had difficulty making it to the first team for the first two years, because the manager at that time criticized him for his slide-step and quick swing. However, in 1944 when Akira Ogi, a Ichiro’s teacher, was appointed as the head coach, Ichiro was selected for a starter of the first team and achieved 210 hits and a batting average of .385, which were Japanese professional baseball record at that time, and got the youngest MVP of the year.
He experienced as a member of the team in winning not only the league championships in 1955 and 1996, but also the Japan Series. Personally Suzuki became the leading hitter seven years in a row, which was an unprecedented achievement, as well as so many titles such as Run Batted In Leader, Stolen Base Leader, Hits Leader, and On Based Percentage Leader.
Since 2001, he has played an active part in the major league and played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and the Miami Marlins so far. Meeting our expectations, Japanese hit maker has been breaking so many records in MLB. In 2004, he got 262 hits, which means he broke the Major League single-season hit record established by George Sisler. From 2001 to 2010, he got over 200 hits in a single season for ten consecutive years, which ties a hit record set by Peto Rose. Ichiro has been showing his great ability as the Japanese best batter in MLB.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa and So Taguchi are from the Orix as well. They played an active role in the same period as Ichiro did, and later played in the Major League.
Hasegawa was active as a relief pitcher in the Anaheim Angels and the Seattle Mariners.On the other hand, Taguchi, who belonged to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, participated in the World Series. His team defeated the Detroit Tigers by 4 to 1 and won their 10th World Champion for the first time in 24 years.