Violent Tiger Incident

From BR Bullpen

The Violent Tiger Incident refers to an episode that took place August 31, 1982 at Yokohama Stadium. It involved two Hanshin Tigers coaches attacking two umpires, leading to fines, suspensions and nearly a forfeit.

The game began with some controversial calls against Hanshin. In the 4th, Hanshin starter Masashi Fujiwara was called for a balk to tie the game at 1-1; an argument ensued, resulting in a 8-minute delay. The next inning, Tigers hitter Greg Johnston kicked dirt over the plate while arguing a call with home plate umpire Isao Okada, leading Okada to order Johnston to clean off the plate. With the score still 1-1 in the 7th, Taira Fujita of Hanshin hit a ball that landed in fair territory, but rolled foul between third place and home; 3B umpire Wataru Wakiya ruled it foul. Hanshin third base coach Akiteru Kono said that the ball had hit the glove of Taiyo Whales 3B Mitsugu Ishibashi and thus should be ruled fair.

Hanshin coaches Ikuo Shimano and Takeshi Shibata and a large number of Tigers players stormed the field and surrounded Wakiya, with Shimano and Shibata kicking and hitting the umpire. Home plate umpire Okada came to intervene and was kicked and beaten as well. Apparently, only Akinobu Mayumi of Hanshin was involved in trying to restrain his teammates and coaches. Okada wound up calling the umpires off the field, saying he would forfeit the game to Yokohama. When the fans appealed, Okada resumed the game after a 10-minute break, with Shimano and Shibata now absent. In the 9th, Fujita came through with a game-winning 2-run homer.

Okada and Wakiya both missed time (two weeks for the former, one week for the latter) due to injury. Yokohama's prosecutors office fined Shimano and Shibata 50,000 yen apiece. Central League chairman Ryuji Suzuki suspended them indefinitely (overriding a 10-day suspension Hanshin had given them); they would be reinstated the next spring.