Interleague Exhibition: Futures League Clubs vs. SoftBank Hawks Third Squad


With the declining level of play of college ballclubs and industrial league franchises in Japan, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks organization were searching for methods to keep their third squad in shape.  They sent a request to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to have their farm club play against the KBO’s Futures League ballclubs.  This idea also stemmed from the fact that it can also cut costs in terms of logistics.  The KBO answered, and the Hawks have been sending their third squad to South Korea since the 2012 season.

SoftBank Hawks (3rd Squad) Trip to S. Korea

*SoftBank Hawks playing against the LG Twins during their trip in 2012. (Source: MK)

The Hawks begin their interleague exhibition games tomorrow (June 17) playing two-game series with every Korea Baseball Futures League ballclubs expect the Korean Police Baseball Team and Sangmu Phoenix (and Goyang Wonders, if you wish to count them as a Futures League ballclub):

  • June 17-18: vs. Doosan Bears @ Bears Park
  • June 19-20: vs. Hwaseong Heroes @ Hwaseong Heroes Baseball Park
  • June 21-22: vs. Suwon KT Wiz @ SKKU Baseball Field
  • June 24-25: vs. LG Twins @ LG Champions Park
  • June 26-27: vs. SK Wyverns @ Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium
  • June 28-29: vs. NC Dinos @ Pohang Baseball Stadium
  • July 19-20: vs. Hanwha Eagles @ Seosan Baseball Training Center
  • July 21-22: vs. KIA Tigers @ Hampyeong-KIA Challengers Field
  • July 24-25: vs. NC Dinos @ Masan Baseball Stadium
  • July 26-27: vs. Samsung Lions @ Samsung Ballpark
  • July 29-30: vs. Lotte Giants @ Sangdong Baseball Field

I believe this is good news for die hard SoftBank Hawks fans living in South Korea as well as those who wish to get a glimpse of Japanese baseball in South Korea.

If you wish to know which ballclubs are participating in the Korea Baseball Futures League and where they play, check my previous post.




4 responses to “Interleague Exhibition: Futures League Clubs vs. SoftBank Hawks Third Squad

    • Third team as in “san-gun” (三軍). Is this squad for the “ikusei” players? (I’m guessing the kanji is “育成”, but I’m not familiar with the term “ikusei player”.)

      • Not sure of the kanji. I believe ikusei translates as “development players”. These are guys who are under contract with a team but are not on the official 70 man roster. They get paid very little and wear three digit uniform numbers. If you look at the rosters at NPB’s web site, most teams have three to five of these players. The Hawks, however, have 22 – almost a full roster’s worth. I’ve heard the term “san-gun” kicked around without a definition (other than the literal one). Unless the Hawks have split their ni-gun team up, the san-gun team probably is the ikusei players.

      • Thanks for the tip. There are players like that in the Korean league, but they don’t call them as “development players”. So, I was unfamiliar with the term. Yes, the Hawks have separate schedule and stats for their “san-gun” on their Japanese page. So, I assume its a squad consisted of their ikusei players then. Most of them wearing three-digit numbers on their back.

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