Chiba Lotte Marines
The Chiba Lotte Marines (千葉ロッテマリーンズ, Chiba Rotte Marīnzu) is a professional baseball team in Japan's Pacific League based in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, in the Kantō region, and owned by Lotte Holdings Co., Ltd.
|Chiba Lotte Marines|
|League||Nippon Professional Baseball
|Location||Mihama-ku, Chiba, Chiba, Japan|
|Ballpark||Zozo Marine Stadium|
|Nickname(s)||Kamome (鴎, seagulls)|
|Pacific League championships||5 (1950, 1960, 1970, 1974, 2005)|
|Japan Series championships||4 (1950, 1974, 2005, 2010)|
|Mascot||Mar-kun, Rine-chan, and Zu-chan|
|Playoff berths||11 (1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013 2015, 2016, 2020)|
In 1958, the team was merged with the Daiei Unions and renamed the Daimai Orions. In 1964 they became the Tokyo Orions, and the Lotte Orions in 1969. The franchise was slow to replicate its initial success: the Orions made the Japan Series in 1960 and 1970, only to lose both years.
The team played in central Tokyo until 1972. From 1973 to 1977 the Lotte Orions played in the northern Japanese city of Sendai. In 1974, they beat the Chunichi Dragons, becoming the first Pacific League team to win the Series in ten years as the Yomiuri Giants had claimed the prior nine titles behind the Oh–Nagashima attack.
The team failed to reach the Japan Series again until 2005. The Marines started the 2005 season in first place behind American manager Bobby Valentine, but fell behind the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks as the year progressed. Under the playoff format of the time, the preliminary five-game playoff round, prior to the Japan Series, saw the teams with the best first and second half records face off. The Marines defeated the Hawks three games to two in the Pacific League championship, winning the rubber match despite entering the eighth inning trailing, 2–1.
The Marines thus qualified for the Japan Series, the first time they had reached the tournament since 1974, a 31-year drought. In a one-sided series, the Marines swept the Hanshin Tigers in four games, scoring ten runs in each of the first three games. The apparent ease with which the Marines defeated the Tigers added fuel to the ongoing debate concerning the need for a playoff system in the Central League, which was finally added in 2007 (see Climax Series). The Marines went on to defeat South Korea's Samsung Lions in the final round of the Konami Cup Championships.
In 2010, the Marines clinched third place on the last day of the season to earn a berth into the Climax Series. They went on to become the first third place team to ever win the Climax Series, and faced off with the Chunichi Dragons in the 2010 Japan Series. The Marines defeated the Dragons in seven games, composed of four wins, two losses, and one tie, winning their second Japan Series in under ten years.
Notable former playersEdit
- Benny Agbayani
- Kevin Beirne
- Alfredo Despaigne
- Mike Diaz
- Jose Fernández
- Julio Franco
- Matt Franco
- Mel Hall
- Isao Harimoto
- Baek In-chun
- Pete Incaviglia
- Hideki Irabu
- Masaaki Kitaru
- Masahide Kobayashi
- Satoru Komiyama (retired in 2009)
- Bill Madlock
- Leon Lee (father of Derrek Lee)
- Leron Lee (uncle of Derrek Lee)
- Jim Lefebvre
- Darryl Motley
- Choji Murata (elected to Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005)
- Bill R.W. Murphy
- Yuhei Nakaushiro
- Saburo Omura (retired in 2016)
- Randy Ready
- Tomoya Satozaki (retired in 2014)
- Dan Serafini
- Lee Seung-yuop
- Naoyuki Shimizu (traded to Yokohama BayStars in 2009)
- Kim Tae-kyun
- Bobby Valentine (former manager, 1995, 2004–2009)
- Shunsuke Watanabe
- Julio Zuleta
- Frank Bolick
- Derrick May
- Brian Sikorski
- José Castillo
- Hideki Irabu (1997–2002)
- Masato Yoshii (1998–2002)
- Satoru Komiyama (2002)
- Tadahito Iguchi (2005–2008)
- Masahide Kobayashi (2008–2009)
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2011–2012)
- Ryohei Tanaka (2009–2011)
- Yasuhiko Yabuta (2008–2009)
- Shunsuke Watanabe (2014)
- Yuhei Nakaushiro (2016–2018)
- 26 – This number was retired in honor of the Marines' fans in 2005. It was inspired by some teams in other sports (such as football, which retires "12" for the "12th man", or basketball, which retires "6" for the "6th man").The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles has the No. 10 retired in similar fashion. MLB's Los Angeles Angels has retired No. 26, in same fashion, for the founder Gene Autry.
- Yoshio Yuasa (1950-1952)
- Tadashi Wakabayashi (1953)
- Kaoru Betto (1954-1959)
- Yukio Nishimoto (1960)
- Mitsuo Uno (1961-1962)
- Yasuji Hondo (1963-1965)
- Hitoshi Tamaru (1966)
- Katsuki Tokura (1967)
- Wataru Nonin (1967-1971)
- Keiji Ohsawa (1971-1972)
- Masaichi Kaneda (1973-1978)
- Kazuhiro Yamauchi (1979-1981)
- Kazuyoshi Yamamoto (1982-1983)
- Kazuhisa Inao (1984-1986)
- Michiyo Arito (1987-1989)
- Masaichi Kaneda (1990-1991)
- Soroku Yagisawa (1992-1994)
- Bobby Valentine (1995, 2004-2009)
- Akira Ejiri (1996)
- Akihito Kondo (1997-1998)
- Koji Yamamoto (1999-2003)
- Norifumi Nishimura (2010-2012)
- Tsutomu Itoh (2013-2017)
- Tadahito Iguchi (2018-present)
Mar-kun (マーくん, Maa-kun) is a main mascot character of the Marines. With his girlfriend Rine-chan (リーンちゃん, Riin-chan) and his young brother Zu-chan (ズーちゃん, Zuu-chan). he entertains spectators at team games. Their name is a separateness of the team name.
Mysterious fish (謎の魚, Nazo-no-sakana) is a new mascot character since May 2017. He is a weird fish with legs. He has collaborated with Hawaiian Airlines that former Marines' player Benny Agbayani works for, since 2018.
- "Please observe the new fish mascot in the Nippon Professional Baseball league". Cut4. 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- "Here's the NPB fish mascot casually pushing a suitcase with hands protruding from inside its mouth". Cut4. 2018-04-29. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- "Creepy Evolving Japanese Baseball Mascot Reveals Its Fifth and Final Form". grape. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2020-05-19.