The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters are a member of the Pacific League of Japanese professional baseball.
The turning point for the Nippon-Ham Fighters came in 2004.
Until 2003, the Nippon-Ham Fighters were based in Tokyo Dome, which is also the home of the Yomiuri Giants. However, they were not able to attract as many customers as they wanted, so they moved to Sapporo, Hokkaido to become a community-based team. The first year of the move was 2004.
This year, the Pacific League introduced a playoff system, ahead of the Central League. The Nippon-Ham Fighters advanced to the playoffs, but were eliminated by the Seibu Lions. However, in the draft of that year, they acquired Yu Darvish, a pitcher who would go on to play in the MLB.
In 2006, the Nippon-Ham Fighters beat Chunichi in the Japan Series to win the coveted Japan championship. From here, the Nippon-Ham Fighters went on to win the league championship three times in four years.
In 2012, pitcher Yu Darvish moved to the Texas Rangers. In 2012, Yu Darvish moved to the Texas Rangers, and the player who joined the team in the draft that year was Shohei Ohtani, who later became a two-way player who surprised the world.
With Otani, the Nippon-Ham Fighters won the championship in 2016, despite trailing by as many as 11.5 games in the regular season. In the following Japan Series, they defeated the Hiroshima Carp to win the Japan championship.
Team: Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido
Ballpark: Sapporo Dome
Year founded: 1945
Management: Nippon Ham Co., Ltd
Titles:Japan Series(3), Pacific League(7)
Retired numbers: 100 Yoshinori Ohkoso (Former chairman)
Former players related to MLB:
Yoshinori Tateyama (to Texas Rangers)
Yu Darvish (to Texas Rangers)
Kohei Arihara (to Texas Rangers)
Shohei Ohtani (to Los Angeles Angels)
Kensuke Tanaka (to San Francisco Giants)
Bobby Mitchell (Milwaukee Brewers)
Tim McIntosh(Milwaukee Brewers)