NPB History

1934 is the first marked date for Nippon Professional Baseball when  Matsutaro Shoriki founded the baseball and called it Dai NipponTokyo Yakyu Kurabo meaning ‘the Great Japan Tokyo Baseball Club. This team played with the US baseball team and had 93 winning. After playing in the US, they changed the name of the club to Tokyo Giants that is under the Japanese Baseball League (JBL). In 1947 the Tokyo Giants changed the name to Yomiuri Giants.

In 1949, JBL changed its name to Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). NPB have two leading teams, Central League and Pacific League. Each League have four teams playing. To increase, they Central League formed four more teams and the Pacific League formed three more teams.

 

Central League teams

Original four: Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers, Yomiuri Giants, Shockiku Robins

Additional four: Hiroshima Carp, Kokutetsu Swallows, Nishi Nippon Pirates, Taiyo Whales

Pacific  League Teams

Original four: Hankyu Braves, Nankia Hawks, Daiei Stars, Tokyu Flyers

Additional three: Kintetsu Pearls, Mainichi Orions, Nishitetsu Clippers and Takashi Unions was added in 1954.

In 1964, Masanori Murakami from Nankai Hawk Team moved to Major League Baseball and became the first Japanese player in MLB.

There was a ‘dark age’ in the history of NPB starting around 1960s to 1970s due to a Scandal named the Black Mist Scandal that resulted to losing of many players.

In 1995, trial came to NPB since many players joined to MLB started by Hideo Nomo. As a result, more than 60 left NPB so 5 teams remained in Pacific League and 6 teams remained in Central League. The thing is that those players from NPB are the strengths of the teams.

Later on, there was an Interleague play occurred and Pacific League got all the wins from 2005. This was the beginning of NPB restoration and is still active as one of the competing teams around the world.