By Ryu Ishibashi
TOKYO, JAPAN.- On 4th of January, 2018, Senichi Hoshino, who was a pitcher of Chunichi Dragons, and a manager of Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, have passed away. Today, I will write about the “tosho”, which means “Brave Fighter” in English. Senichi Hoshino was born in Kurashiki, Okayama on 1947. He graduated Meiji University and entered to Dragons on 1969. He used to be a big Giants fan, however he could no enter it because the NPB draft began 3 years before his entry. Therefore, he made it his life’s work to defeat Giants.
The way to defeat Giants was not easy. The time he entered Dragons, Giants was in the “V9” era, which they won 9 straight Japan series. When he could not play well, he often broke tea cups, and instead of managing his anger, he showed his fighting spirit to anyone.
His challenge did not end when he retired playing on 1982. Instead of breaking tea cups, he broke the electric fan of the stadium, and often said to have used to force young players. However, on the other hand, he was always concerned about the players he just used to force. As a manager, he led all of Dragons, Tigers, and Eagles as a league champion.
In 2013, which was his third season in Eagles, Eagles won the Pacific League championship and the following Climax Series to advance to the Japan Series against Giants. It was his first Japan Series against Giants, because he spend most of the professional and managerial career in Dragons and Tigers, which is both in the Central League Giants belongs to. For Eagles fans, the scene Masahiro Tanaka came on the mound to defeat Giants and make Hoshino a Japan Series winning manager, is certainly unforgettable. The accomplishment the Tosho and Eagles made encouraged whole Tohoku area, which the East Japan earthquake struck on 2011.
The day earthquake struck was 11th of March. On the day this year, a preseason game between Eagles and Dragons will be held in Kurashiki, where the Brave Leader was born. I wish Eagles could show him their power. Up where belong here we go.