At this time two years ago, the Hiroshima Carp were the toast of the Central League. They were hitting well, pitching even better and at 27-15 had the best record in the CL. It looked, early on, like the team might be on track for the type of success not seen since the halcyon days of the Aka-heru era of 1975-91, when the “Red Helmets” had 15 A-Class finishes and won six pennants and three Japan Series titles.

That was before the 2014 interleague campaign. After mostly taking a beating over 24 games against Pacific League teams, going 9-15, the shell-shocked Carp were just happy to have bounced back in time to finish third in the CL and at least reach the Climax Series.

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