The CENTRAL LEAGUE (セントラル・リーグ, _Sentoraru Rīgu_) or CE LEAGUE (セリーグ, _Se Rīgu_) is one of the two professional baseball leagues that constitute Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan . The winner of the league championship plays against the winner of the Pacific League in the annual Japan Series . It currently consists of six teams from around the country. Unlike the Pacific League, designated hitters are not used during Central League home games.
* 1 History * 2 Current teams * 3 Central League pennant winners * 4 Central League Climax Series winners * 5 Central League statistics * 6 Most Valuable Pitcher * 7 Best Nine Awards * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links
The Central League was founded in 1949 with eight teams: four holdovers from the previous Japanese Baseball League — the Chunichi Dragons , the Hanshin Tigers , the Yomiuri Giants , and the Shochiku Robins (formerly the Taiyō Robins) — and four new teams — the Hiroshima Carp , the Kokutetsu Swallows , the Nishi Nippon Pirates , and the Taiyō Whales .
The Nishi Nippon Pirates existed for one season — they placed sixth in 1950, and the following season merged with the also Fukuoka -based Nishitetsu Clippers (a member of the Pacific League ) to form the Nishitetsu Lions , who joined the Pacific League. This brought the number of Central League teams down to an ungainly arrangement of seven.
Ryuji Suzuki became president of the Central League in 1952.
In 1952, it was decided that any team ending the season with a winning percentage below .300 would be disbanded or merged with other teams. The Shochiku Robins fell into this category, and were merged with the Taiyō Whales to become the Taiyō Shochiku Robins in January 1953. This enabled the Central League to shrink to an even number of six teams.
Ryuji Suzuki retired as CL president in 1984 after 33 years at the post.
In 2007, a new Climax Series was introduced. This playoff series was inspired by the stepladder playoff used in the Pacific League for the top three teams of the league to determine which one progressed to the Japan Series . Under the previous system, there was no post-season playoff and the winner of the pennant automatically qualified for the Japan Series.
TEAM JAPANESE NAME PLACE STADIUM SPONSOR
CENTRAL LEAGUE PENNANT WINNERS
* 2016 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 2015 Tokyo Yakult Swallows * 2014 Yomiuri Giants * 2013 Yomiuri Giants * 2012 Yomiuri Giants * 2011 Chunichi Dragons * 2010 Chunichi Dragons * 2009 Yomiuri Giants * 2008 Yomiuri Giants * 2007 Yomiuri Giants * 2006 Chunichi Dragons * 2005 Hanshin Tigers * 2004 Chunichi Dragons * 2003 Hanshin Tigers * 2002 Yomiuri Giants * 2001 Yakult Swallows * 2000 Yomiuri Giants * 1999 Chunichi Dragons * 1998 Yokohama BayStars * 1997 Yakult Swallows * 1996 Yomiuri Giants * 1995 Yakult Swallows * 1994 Yomiuri Giants * 1993 Yakult Swallows * 1992 Yakult Swallows * 1991 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1990 Yomiuri Giants * 1989 Yomiuri Giants * 1988 Chunichi Dragons * 1987 Yomiuri Giants * 1986 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1985 Hanshin Tigers * 1984 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1983 Yomiuri Giants * 1982 Chunichi Dragons * 1981 Yomiuri Giants * 1980 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1979 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1978 Yakult Swallows * 1977 Yomiuri Giants * 1976 Yomiuri Giants * 1975 Hiroshima Toyo Carp * 1974 Chunichi Dragons * 1973 Yomiuri Giants * 1972 Yomiuri Giants * 1971 Yomiuri Giants * 1970 Yomiuri Gian