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Early Central and Pacific League Teams

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
Early Central and Pacific League Teams
I was reading an article in SanSpo and I noticed that in 1950 and 1954 there were eight teams in the Pacific League. What about in the Central League? Was it the same as now with six teams?
Comments
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Nov 8, 2004 10:54 AM ]

In 1950, the Central League had eight teams, the current six (though the BayStars were called the Whales) plus the Nishi Nippon Pirates and the Shochiku Robins. The Robins won the Central League that year.

After the 1950 season, the Pirates were merged with a Pacific League team called the Clippers and were renamed the Lions. The newly created Lions were a Pacific League club.

The Robins continued in 1951 and 1952, but with poor results. After 1952, they merged with the Whales. For a time, that club was called the Robins, but then went back to being called the Whales.

So the Central League had eight teams in 1950, seven in 1951 and 1952, and six ever since.

Jim Albright
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Jen Wei | Posted: Nov 9, 2004 12:16 AM | HNHF Fan ]

So that means that in 1950 there were 16 teams (8 team in each the Pacific League and Central League) in the NPB, right? And why were so many earlier teams so easily merged or closed?
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Nov 9, 2004 10:12 AM ]

- So that means that in 1950 there were 16 teams (8 team in each the Pacific League and Central League) in the NPB, right? And why were so many earlier teams so easily merged or closed?

There were 15 teams in the NPB in 1950. There were 8 in the Central League and 7 in the Pacific League. So many of the earlier teams either merged or folded because they couldn't compete. [Link - 1950 Pennant Race, JapanBaseballDaily.com]
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Nov 15, 2004 12:10 AM ]

I'd say another key factor was the expansion from 1949 to 1950 was simply too much. They had eight clubs in one league in 1949, and went to 15 in two leagues in 1950. An expansion of that size is apt to leave you with some really lousy teams, and it did. Some survived (the Whales and Buffaloes come to mind), but others didn't.

Jim Albright
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Nov 18, 2004 2:00 AM | HAN Fan ]

I was told by an ex-Hanshin Tigers player that there was a league in the late 1940s that shut down when its players were threatened with a lifetime ban from NPB. I think it was called the Northern League. Jim or anyone have any info about this league?
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Nov 21, 2004 9:51 PM ]

I seem to recall reading that something like that did occur, but I can't find any source for it.
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Dec 1, 2004 5:37 AM ]

Kiyoshi, that would be the Kokumin League. It operated in 1947, but it went under after one season due to financial reasons. I have a link to an article about it on Japan Baseball Daily in the links section.
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Dec 9, 2004 7:24 AM | HAN Fan ]

What does "Kokumin" mean?
Re: Early Central and Pacific League Teams
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Dec 9, 2004 7:34 AM | HAN Fan ]

Looks like "Kokumin" translates to National. So was it the National Baseball League?
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