Posted by simon c on 2008 December 27日 Saturday
A couple of Seibu uniform announcements for both their baseball and hockey teams.
First the Saitama Seibu Lions baseball team is apparently completely overhauling its uniform next season with new colours, logo, and uniforms. This may or may not be their primary logo, colour, and uniform, but this photo was taken at Tokorozawa station (home of Lions) but before a public announcement. Weird, but Seibu has never been good at marketing. Personally, moving away from the Tezuka Osamu designed Leo logo to a generic claws and baseball logo is a huge mistake, along with darkening the skyblue that has been the Lions colour since the team moved to Tokorozawa some 30 years ago, the new navy makes them similar to Chunichi Dragons, Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and Yokohama BayStars. Then again, I suppose this move in the new direction is probably meant to signal their new attachment to their hometown “Saitama”, but just seems like a bad move right after winning it all (Japan Series and Asia Series champions).
Now onto the Seibu Prince Rabbits hockey team that has just announced that they will be folding (or hopefully selling) the team after this season. The team will play in throwback Seibu Railway (Seibu Railway and Kokudo teams merged to form the current Seibu team a few years back) uniforms. The ads take away from the mood, but a classy move nonetheless as it’s a classic uni that I should’ve bought while the Railway team was still alive. The throwbacks will be worn in the game on 11 January 2009 against long time archrivals Oji Eagles at the Dydo Drinco Ice Arena home game (Higashifushimi, Tokyo). The ceremonial faceoff will be taken by the brothers Mel and Herb Wakabayashi who led Japanese hockey through the 70’s and beyond as player and coach on Kokudo, Seibu, and the Japanese national team.
By the way, Seibu wore this uniform for a while after the SEIBU era:
Either way, much better than the Kokudo bunny donchya think?
I used to be a fun of the rough and exciting Seibu Railway team, but could never support the team after it was merged into Kokudo even though many of my favourite players like Ryan Kiyoshi Fujita (the Theo Fleury of Japan, he led the Japanese league in PIM and goals once or twice, I think) play on the team. Just for good measure, here’s Ryan who’s been playing in Japan since 1995 and played on the 1998 Nagano Olympic team: