FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Pacific League pennant-winning Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and the Central League champion Chunichi Dragons held their respective parades to celebrate in Fukuoka and Nagoya on Saturday.
Around 750,000 people turned out for the processions, with 500,000 lining the streets to cheer as Chunichi manager Hiromitsu Ochiai and players’ association president Masahiko Morino sat in the leading convertible on a 3-km course traveling through the heart of the city.
“Next year, we want to win the CL title again and truly become champions (by winning the Japan Series),” said Ochiai, whose team won its first pennant in four years, only to fall four games to two with one tie to the Lotte Marines in Japan Series.
Softbank, which won the PL title for the first time in seven years, was greeted by about 250,000 well-wishers. Hawks manager Koji Akiyama, league MVP Kazuhiro Wada and team president Sadaharu Oh waved to the jubilant fans.
“Many fans came to cheer us on today,” Akiyama said.