What did “FRIDAY” report 10, 20, or 30 years ago? In “Playback Friday,” we take a look back at the topics that were popular at the time. This time, we present “Tiger Warriors got drunk at Kita’s club championship after-party,” which appeared in the October 3, 2003 issue 20 years ago. This issue featured the Hanshin League champions, who won the league championship for the first time in 18 years. The magazine also closely followed the second round of the victory party held late at night after the championship was decided.
The magazine also caught up with the second party held at midnight to celebrate the victory. Just today, enjoy yourself to the fullest!
Manager Senichi Hoshino thanked the players with a smile on his face. Then, Shinjiro Hiyama, the players’ chairman, announced the opening of the event, and the restaurant quickly erupted into a frenzy. The big men, unable to sit still, moved from place to place, drinking sake together, and shedding tears without being seen.
The Tigers won the league championship on September 15. The following is a report from the after-party in Kitashinchi, Osaka, where the Tigers celebrated their victory.
The venue was an exclusive club, one of the top five in Kita. The club is known for being frequented by baseball players and entertainers, and its 30 hostesses have a reputation for being full of beautiful women. Naturally, all the clubs in Kita were closed on that day, a national holiday, but this club was reserved and temporarily opened for the Hanshin baseball players.
The main players were Katsumi Hirosawa, Tomonori Kanemoto, Norihiro Akahoshi, and Atsushi Fujimoto, who talked like comic actors. The women were laughing their asses off. What surprised me the most was how excited Mr. Yano (Teruhiro) was. He looked really happy. At the end, some of them were so drunk that they fell down.
Director Hoshino and the players arrived at the club around 1:30 am. Everyone, including the main team, the backroom staff, and the manager, was intoxicated with the wine of victory until dawn.
In the Japan Series that followed in October, the team won three consecutive games against the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (now Softbank) at Koshien. Although they were the first to win the series, they unfortunately did not win the championship.
Will they be able to win their first Japan championship since 1985 this year?
PHOTO： Yutaka Asai, Yuji Yoshitomi, Taka Nozawa