Daiei Stars

Last updated
Daiei Stars
League Nippon Professional Baseball
Ballpark Korakuen Stadium
Year established1946
Year folded1957; merged with the Takahashi Unions to form the Daiei Unions
Former name(s)Gold Star (1946)
Kinsei Stars (1947–1948)
Daiei Unions (1956-1957)
Former league(s) Japanese Baseball League
Colorswhite, red, sky blue
Ownership Komajiro Tamura (1946–1948)
Daiei Film (1949–1956)
Manager Sadayoshi Fujimoto (1948–1956)

The Daiei Stars (大映スターズ, Daiei Sutāzu) were a Japanese professional baseball team that was founded in 1946, and played in various incarnations until 1957, when it merged with another team. Overall, the franchise only had three winning seasons, never rising higher than third place. The team was in the second division, or B-class, for seven seasons, including its last four years of existence. The Stars played in Korakuen Stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo.


Franchise history

Japanese Baseball League

The franchise was founded in 1946 as Gold Star, a new post-war team in the Japanese Baseball League. They were owned by textile manufacturer and Lucky Gold Star Telephones owner Komajiro Tamura, [1] who also owned the Pacific Baseball Club (formerly known as the Asahi Baseball Club). Gold Star consisted mostly of former Asahi players and was managed by Asahi's former manager Michinori Tubouchi.[ citation needed ] In Gold Star's inaugural season, they won 43 games and lost 60, finishing 22 games out of first place. One of the team's losses that season set the record for highest run differential in Japanese professional baseball history. [2]

In 1947 the team became the Kinsei Stars ("Kinsei" meaning made of gold in Japanese) and signed long-time Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants pitcher Victor Starffin, who came over from Tamura's other team, the Taiyo Robins (formerly Asahi). Starffin pitched for the franchise for six seasons, winning 80 games and losing 70.[ citation needed ]

The team acquired Michio Nishizawa mid-season 1946, during the period he was transitioning from a once-dominant pitcher to a fearsome hitter. His two full seasons with the team were unremarkable, however, and he returned to his original team, the Chunichi Dragons in 1949, where he really hit his stride with the bat.

In 1948, the team hired Sadayoshi Fujimoto as manager; he stayed at the helm of the team until partway through their final season, 1956.

In 1949, after being bought by Masaichi Nagata/Daiei Film, the team changed its name to the Daiei Stars, with Nagata serving as team president. Outfielder Makoto Kozuru hit .361 for the Stars in 1949, leading the league in hitting and earning Best Nine Award honors.

Nippon Professional Baseball

In 1950 the Stars became charter members of the Pacific League when the JBL reorganized into Nippon Professional Baseball and split into the Pacific League and the Central League. Outfielder Shigeya Iijima was a league Best Nine Award-winner in 1950–1951. He led the Pacific League in batting in 1952, hitting .336, while his teammate Giichi Hayashi led the league in innings pitched, with 269-2⁄3.


In 1957, the Stars merged with the Takahashi Unions to form the Daiei Unions. The Unions existed for a single season, finishing last in the Pacific League, at 41-89-2, 43-1/2 games out of first. Pitcher Masayoshi Miura led the Pacific League in losses, with 21.

In 1958, the Unions merged with the Mainichi Orions (founded in 1950) to form the Daimai Orions . This enabled the Pacific League to shrink from the ungainly seven-team arrangement caused by the 1957 merger to a more manageable six teams. The Orions, after a number of relocations and name changes, are now known as the Chiba Lotte Marines.


Season-by-season records

YearLeagueTeam nameGamesWinsLossesTiesWin/Loss PercentageStandingsGames behind
1946 JBL Gold Star10543602.417622
1947Kinsei Stars11941744.357837.5
1949Daiei Stars13467652.508317.5
1950 NPB 12062544.534319.5
1957Daiei Unions13141892.315743.5
Overall record152762685843.424 

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  1. Worth, Richard. Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869–2011 (McFarland, 2013), p. 304.
  2. "【あの時・楽天屈辱からの日本一】(2)歴史的開幕2連戦の明暗" [Best in Japan from Rakuten disgrace at the time (2) The light and darkness of the historic 2-game season opening]. Sports Hochi (in Japanese). April 11, 2016. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2020.