2000 JAPAN SERIES: Fukuoka Daiei Hawks vs Tokyo Yomiuri Giants

Champion: Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
4 games to 2
Most Valuable Player: Hideki Matsui

Hawks fined for irregular championship
Japan pro baseball commissioner announced on Nov. 6 that he will fine the Hawks for renting its stadium, Fukuoka Dome, to a meeting of doctors during the Japan Series for 2 days. It's 30 million yen--the largest sum ever.

Giants' victory parade
On Nov. 3, the Giants in a motorcade, paraded through the financial district of Otemachi to Ginza-- a 3.6 kilometer stretch. The team was cheered on by 360,000 fans. It's much more than the number its attracted in 1994 when it was just over 170,000.

October 28 at Tokyo Dome (audience 44,033 )
Darrel May started for the 2nd time in the series. Hideki Matsui slammed his 3rd homer in the series making it this time a double. The Giants finished the game 9 to 3, taking the championship victory without playing it to the fullest. It's the 19th time for the Giants to clinch the Japan Series It's been 6 years since the team became Japan champion the last time.

October 27 at Fukuoka Dome (audience 36,787)
Giants' pitcher Hisanori Takahashi had the best showing this season. He hurled over a distance a shut out game. His teammates gave great support too. Yoshinobu Takahashi, Akira Eto, and Shinichi Murata all homered. The Giants won 6 to 0.

October 26 at Fukuoka Dome (audience 36,701)
Masaki Saito started the game for the Giants. He was homered by Melvin Nieves but that was all. Saito hurled 6 1/3 innings. In the end, the Giants defeated the Hawks 2 to 1. So the series is now a 2 to 2 tie.

October 23 at Fukuoka Dome (audience 36,625 )
It was the popular all women's pop group "Morning Musume" who opened the game in Fukuoka. The Giants as in the previous 2 games again scored first. The difference was, Yoshinobu Takahashi who was in a slump doubled a homer. The Hawks caught up. It included a home run by Kenji Jojima. But in the 3rd inning, the Giants batted in 4 more runs. It's victory was assured with Hideki Matsui's 2 run homer in the 7th. The Giants clinched the game, the first time in the series 9 to 3.

October 22 at Tokyo Dome (audience 43,850)
Judo's Ryoko Tamura who won her first gold medal in Sydney her 3rd Olympic participation opened the game. The Giants took the lead in the beginning again by batting in 2 runs in the 2nd inning. It added another run in the 3rd with Kazuhiro Kiyohara's RBI. But in the 5th, the Hawks blasted 6 runs to reverse the game. The Hawks won its 2nd straight game in the series, this time, 8 to 3.

October 21 at Tokyo Dome (audience 43,848 )
Olympic gold medalist Naoko Takahashi hurled the ball to open the best of 7 series. 37 year-old Kimiyasu Kudo who played for the Hawks last year was the starting pitcher for the Giants. His opposing pitcher was Kenichi Wakatabe. It was an exciting game from the beginning. Central League homerun king Hideki Matsui doubled in the first inning. Then the Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima singled a homer. Toshihisa Nishi batted in a run to give the Giants further lead. But in the 7th, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, who was an avid Giants fan, brought the score to a tie, with his 2 run homer. Then in the 9th, Melvin Nieves homered off Hiromu Makihara to reverse the game. The Hawks won 5 to 3.