Seibu Lions

The most powerful team of the 1980s and early 1990s, the Seibu Lions captured their eighteenth pennant in 1998. One reason that the Lions are always competitive is because they are the richest team in the Pacific League.

The Lions are one of the wealthiest teams in Japan. Owned by Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, at one time listed as the world’s richest man, the team has managed to get some of the best players in Japan into its deep pockets.

Founded in 1950, the Lions quickly became one of the Pacific League’s most dominant teams, winning four pennants in their first decade.

In addition to building a business dynasty, Tsutsumi also created the team’s ballpark, Seibu Dome, which lies 30 minutes west of Tokyo.

The stadium was originally an amphitheater dug into the side of a hill, but an umbrella was installed after the 1998 season. The umbrella is open at the sides giving a feel of the outdoors but, when needed, keeping the hot summer sun or the rain off.

Acknowledgment: Dan Latham