|Retired Numbers||10, 15|
|Japan Series titles (2)||1954, 2007|
|CL Pennants (8)||1954, 1974, 1982, 1988, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011|
|Owner(s): Chunichi Shimbun Co.|
|Manager: Motonobu Tanishige|
|2011 Chunichi Dragons season|
The Chunichi Dragons (中日ドラゴンズ Chūnichi Doragonzu ) are a professional baseball team based in Nagoya, the chief city in the Chubu ("Middle of Japan") region of Japan. The team is in the Central League. They won the 2007 Japan Series and 2007 Asia Series.
The Chunichi Dragons were formed in 1936 as the Nagoya Club. They had experimented with five different names between 1936 and 1953 before settling with "Dragons" in 1954. 1954 was the same year that the Dragons won their first Japan Series championship. The Dragons had won the Central League pennant seven times until 2006, but until 2007 their last Japan Series victory was in 1954, the longest such drought in Nippon Professional Baseball(NPB). In 1974, the team won the league title for the first time in 20 years, and this victory stopped the Yomiuri Giants from winning the league for their tenth consecutive year. Another league title came in 1999, and in that year, Dragons set a record by winning 11 consecutive games at the opening of the season. In the 2004 season they reached the Japan Series, but lost to the Seibu Lions, the Pacific League Champions. Although they have had little success in the playoffs, they are still known as one of the most powerful teams in NPB. They have a 2011 Nintendo Wii children's game based on the team called, Doala de Wii.
In early 2007, the playoff rules were changed: The top team in the league would advance automatically, while the second and third teams in the league would play a best-of-three series. The winner would face the 1st place team in a best-of-five series to see who would advance to the Japan Series finals. The Dragons took advantage of the new playoff system, and after finishing second in the season standings, swept the Hanshin Tigers in a best-of-three series, then, in a huge upset, swept the heavily favoured Yomiuri Giants in a best-of-five series to advance to the Japan Series against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. In an exact reversal of the 2006 Japan Series, Hokkaido won game 1 of the series, but the Dragons won the next four straight games, including a combined perfect game from Daisuke Yamai to star closer Hitoki Iwase in the deciding Game 5, to become the 2007 Japan Series Champions.
The following Hall of Famers played and/or managed for the Dragons, and are listed with the years they were with the club.
- Hideo Fujimoto (藤本 英雄) (1947)
- Michio Nishizawa (西澤 道夫) (1947–1950, 1954–1958, 1963–1968)
- Amachi Shunichi (天知 俊一) (1949–1958)
- Morimichi Takagi (髙木 守道) (1960–1986, 1992–1995, 2012–2013)
- Wally Kaname Yonamine (与那嶺 要) (1961–1962, 1963–1966, 1970–1977)
- Larry Doby (1962)
- Kazuhisa Inao (稲尾 和久) (1978–1980)
- Kazuhiro Yamauchi (山内 一弘) (1984–1986)
- Hisashi Yamada (山田 久志) (1999–2003)
- Takao Kajimoto (梶本 隆夫) (1998–1999)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chunichi Dragons.|
- (Japanese) Chunichi Dragons official web site