World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Randy Bass

Article Id: WHEBN0002933241
Reproduction Date:

Title: Randy Bass  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nippon Professional Baseball, Hanshin Tigers, Suguru Egawa, Sadaharu Oh, Sachio Kinugasa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Randy Bass

Randy Bass
Randy Bass at a promotional event in Japan, December 2013
Member of the Oklahoma Senate
from the 32nd district
Assumed office
November 2004
Personal details
Born (1954-03-13) March 13, 1954
Lawton, Oklahoma
Political party Democratic
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Spouse(s) Kelley Bass
Occupation politician, former baseball player
Religion Lutheran
Randy Bass
First baseman
Born: (1954-03-13) March 13, 1954
Lawton, Oklahoma
Batted: Left Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 3, 1977, for the Minnesota Twins
NPB: 1983, for the Hanshin Tigers
Last appearance
MLB: June 7, 1982, for the Texas Rangers
NPB: 1988, for the Hanshin Tigers
NPB statistics
Batting average .337
Home runs 202
Runs batted in 486
Career highlights and awards

Randy William Bass (born March 13, 1954) is an American politician and former baseball player. He is less notable for his career in Major League Baseball than for his success in Japan's Hanshin Tigers of Central League. Since 2004, Bass has served as a Democratic State Senator from Oklahoma, representing District 32.


  • Baseball 1
  • Curse of the Colonel 2
  • After baseball 3
  • Name in Japanese 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Bass came up with the Minnesota Twins as a first baseman in 1977. In his six seasons in the Major Leagues (divided among five teams), he was never a day-to-day player, usually coming off the bench just to pinch hit. After his contract expired following the 1982 season, Bass signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the Central League, who made him their starting first-baseman. Bass is often credited as single-handedly turning the fortune of the Tigers which resulted in the team's pennant run and eventual victory of the Japan Series in 1985.

Bass took advantage of the differences between Japanese and American styles of pitching, and immediately became the Tigers' star slugger. He won four consecutive league batting titles; in 1986, he nearly became the first player in Japan to bat .400, finishing the season with a .389 average, a record that still stands, despite Ichiro Suzuki's formidable challenges to it in 1994 and 2000. Bass won consecutive batting Triple Crowns (1985 and 1986). In 1985, he was on a pace to break Sadaharu Oh's record of 55 home runs in a single season, but fell short by one, because in the last game of the season the pitcher from Oh's Yomiuri Giants threw only intentional walks (allegedly to prevent the Westerner from breaking Oh's record).[1] In Japan, his spectacular performance is a legend and among Tigers fans; he is nearly deified, being jokingly referred in conjunction with God and Buddha, "Kami-sama (God), Hotoke-sama (Buddha), Baasu-sama (Bass)" (sama is an honorary variation of "san" similar to Sir or His holiness).

Bass was released by Hanshin in June 1988 when he returned to the United States after his son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Although the Tigers had authorized Bass to leave Japan, they later claimed that no such authorization had been given and fired Bass in absentia. However, Bass produced a tape recording establishing definitively that the Tigers had authorized his leave of absence. In disgrace, the General Manager of the Hanshin Tigers, Shingo Furuya, committed suicide.[2]

Curse of the Colonel

Bass is also famous in Japan for the "Curse of the Colonel". Following the 1985 Series victory, revelers celebrated by calling off the names of team members one by one. At each name, a fan who looked like that player would jump into the filthy Dotonbori canal. For Bass, someone threw a life-sized model of Colonel Sanders, the mascot of Kentucky Fried Chicken and the only close-at-hand likeness of a bearded American, into the river. The statue disappeared and is said to have caused the subsequent decade-long dismal performance in the Central League.[3]

In an attempt to remove the curse, fans made repeated attempts to find the model, making offerings to the statues of the Colonel for forgiveness. In 2003, when the Tigers returned to the Japan Series after 18 years with one of the worst records in the Central League, many KFC outlets in Kōbe and Ōsaka moved their Colonel Sanders statues inside until the series was over to protect them from rabid Tigers fans. The newly replaced Colonel Sanders statue in the Dotonbori KFC branch was bolted down to prevent a repeat of the incident.[4]

On March 10, 2009, the top half of the statue (minus hands and legs) originally thrown into the Dotonbori River was recovered during construction of a walkway. A diver said that he had thought he had found a large barrel, but was surprised when it turned out to be the upper body of the Colonel.[5] The statue's legs and right hand were recovered the following day. The statue is still missing its glasses and left hand. The statue of Colonel Sanders is currently in a KFC franchise across the street from Koshien Stadium.[6]

After baseball

After his 1988 retirement, Bass became active in community projects to promote baseball in his native state, while continuing to make trips to Japan as a cultural ambassador. Bass was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate as a Democrat in 2004. He was re-elected in 2006.[7] In the Senate he serves as the Co-Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee Natural Resources and Regulatory Services. He also sits on the Appropriations, Retirement and Insurance, General Government and Judiciary Committees.

Name in Japanese

Although the name Bass would conventionally be transcribed Basu (バス) in Japanese, Randy Bass is known in Japan as Bāsu (バース, pronounced ). The Hanshin Tigers requested the change because the owner of the team, Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd., directly owned a bus-operation in those days (currently owned by Hanshin Bus Co., Ltd.). Because "bus" is written exactly the same as Bass in Japanese (basu), the Tigers worried that Japanese media might create headlines such as "Bus unstoppable" (if he made consecutive hits), "Bus explodes" (if he hit a home run) or "Bus crashes" (if he slumped), which would have a negative impact to the corporate image of Hanshin Bus.[8]


  1. ^ Merron, J. "The Phoniest Records in Sports". (Feb 2003)., retrieved from on March 29, 2007
  2. ^
  3. ^ White, Paul (August 19, 2003). "The Colonel's Curse runs deep". USA Today. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Davisson, Zack (2006). Osaka InfoGuide. Japan: Carter Witt Media. pp. 20–23. 
  5. ^ "Colonel stages a comeback in Osaka". The Japan Times. March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Senator Randy Bass - District 32". Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  8. ^ 最強の助っ人が退団 息子の治療の裏にあったものは… [Strongest import leaves team - Details behind son's treatment]. MSN West (in Japanese). Japan: Microsoft. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-06-12. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
  • Oklahoma State Senate page
  • Lawton Politics
  • Sen. Bass official Bio
  • City of Lawton official Webpage
Preceded by
Sachio Kinugasa
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize
Succeeded by
Hiromitsu Ochiai
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.