Prior to 1985, the Hanshin Tigers, a franchise that has been playing in Japan Pro Baseball since its inception in 1936, had never been crowned Japan Series champions since the two league system began in 1950. Their last championship
team had been in 1947, during the eight team, one league era. This all changed in 1985 when American Randy Bass led the Tigers to both the Central League title and a Japan Series victory. Bass was named Central League MVP after
winning the triple crown with 54 homers, 130 RBI and .350 batting average. This was accomplished in a season of only 130 games! Bass was also named MVP of the Japan Series, slugging three homers en route to the team's
Before coming to the Tigers in 1983, Bass had endured a lackluster six year career in the American major leagues, so the 1985 season served as a redemption for him personally. Bass truly prospered in Japan, winning the
triple crown again in 1986, including a .389 batting average.
Sadly, Bass is also famous in Japan because of the "Curse of the Colonel". After winning the1985 Championship, a large assemblage of Tigers fans celebrated by calling the name of each Tigers player. As each player's name was called,
a fan who resembled that player then jumped into the Dotonbori Canal. Since there was no fan who resembled Bass, someone threw a lifesize model of Colonel Sanders that had been displayed outside a nearby KFC franchise into the
river. After all, like Bass, the Colonel was an American with a beard. The statue disappeared into the canal. It is believed by many that until the entire statue is pulled from the canal, the Tigers will never win another Japan Series. By now,
most, but not all, of the statue has been recovered, but 35 years have now passed without another title. Tigers fans need to keep looking for the rest of that statue!
The happi coat presented here celebrates the Tigers' 1985 Central League pennant. "Hanshin Tigers" is printed on the lapels in Japanese. The yellow and black coat with pinstripes is similar in style to the Tigers' uniform of the era. It is
autographed by Randy Bass in black marker. Certainly, this coat a cherished souvenir of the Hanshin Tigers' greatest season.
Size: Large adult
Condition: Nm except for a small stain on the back. Autograph--9 out of 10