It’s official: Japanese baseball is back! Every team has now checked in to their spring training destinations, though some will set up camp in a new location midway through February. Check here (our previous newsletter) for details of locations and dates.
We have given most of our NPB team pages an update on the website, putting in team slogans (which we will list below for your convenience), team managers, and even the teams with new uniforms in 2023! (Hint: They are the Yomiuri Giants, Saitama Seibu Lions, Chiba Lotte Marines, Yokohama DeNA Baystars, Chunichi Dragons, and Hiroshima Carp.)
So here are your slogans for the new season, team by team:
Orix Buffaloes: We Can Do It!
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks: 鷹！鷹！鷹！ (Oh! Oh! Oh!) = Hawk! Hawk! Hawk!
Saitama Seibu Lions: 走魂 (So-kon) = Running Spirit
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles: 鷲が掴む！ (Washi ga tsukamu!) = Eagles Grasp It!
Chiba Lotte Marines: 今日をチャンスに変える。(Kyo wo chansu ni kaeru.) = Change Today into Opportunity
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters: 新時代 Fans Are Our Treasure (Shinjidai = New Era)
Tokyo Yakult Swallows: さあ、行こうか! Team Swallows 2023- Sa- iko-ka! (Ready to Go?)
Yokohama DeNA Baystars: 横浜頂戦 (Yokohama Chosen) = Yokohama Battle for the Top
Hanshin Tigers: A.R.E. (Aim, Respect, Empower)
Yomiuri Giants: 奪回 – Giants Pride 2023 = Dakkai (Recapture)
Hiroshima Toyo Carp: がががががむしゃら (Gagagaga Gamushara) = G-G-G-G-Going Ballistic
Chunichi Dragons: All for Victory – すべては勝利のために Subete wa Shori no Tame ni (All for Victory)
In other news, some teams are starting to announce that cheering in the stands is officially back on the menu in 2023. The Chiba Lotte Marines in particular created a short video to show their excitement. The Marines have also welcomed back Hirokazu Sawamura, who spent the past two seasons with the Boston Red Sox. The 34-year-old is expected to be a key part of their bullpen in ’23.
Finally, we leave you with the sad news of another NPB legend who has passed away. Hiromitsu Kadota, who has the third-most home runs in NPB history (567), died at the age of 74 on January 24. Despite standing just 5’7”, Kadota inspired many with his full swing and his great accomplishments: at age 40, he led the Pacific League with 44 home runs. He passed away in his home. Rest in Peace.