The Softbank Hawks blanked the Hanshin Tigers 1-0 on Thursday night and won the Nippon Series four games to one. It was their sixth Nippon Series and first since 2011.
Nippon Series MVP
Seiichi Uchikawa (Softbank)
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Award of Excellence
Yuki Yanagita (Softbank)
Dennis Sarfate (Softbank)
Shota Takeda (Softbank)
Fighting Spirit Award
Randy Messenger (Hanshin)
Home Run Awards
Dae-Ho Lee (Softbank), Game 2, top of the 4th, solo home run
Akira Nakamura (Softbank), Game 4, bottom of the 10th, three-run home run
Interactions with the media...
What an unbelievable end to a series.
I can't believe it. I've experienced a number of Nippon Series, but this was a first. We won the Nippon Series because the players battled through the entire season.
You dropped the first game at Koshien and then won four straight.
I thought we would be fine if we went 1-1 [at Koshien]. Then we ended up winning three in Fukuoka. It's great that we were able to win the Nippon Series in front of the fans.
You were tossed in the air when you clinched first place and when you won the Final Stage of the Climax Series. And now, once again, at home, you were tossed into the air.
It's a great feeling. I have nothing to add. They tossed me up ten times. Uchikawa told me that he didn't think there was a manager that was tossed ten times. It's just really great.
Settsu pitched a good game.
He showed what it means to be an ace. I've watched him pitch for six years and he did his best as a reliever and starter. Thank you.
Matsuda got the big hit at the end.
Match is full of surprises. I think it was fitting. They kept it going, they all kept it going.
This was a nice way to end things.
I feel relieved. Thank you for the six years. This was a year we had to win the Nippon Series. The fans also had high expectations. We battled through the season. This really feels like a dream. The fans also helped by pushing us. Thank you.
What would you like to say to the players?
They are wonderful players. Not just the ones here, but also the ones at Ni-gun and San-gun. The coaches and support staff. I think they all helped us win this Nippon Series. Thank you.
Your last message to the fans?
I worked hard as manager for six years and nothing can make me happier than this Nippon Series. I hope the Hawks will continue to be strong and I hope the fans will continue to support them. Thank you very much for the last six years.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014
You won the MVP. What are your thoughts?
If I won this award on my own, I'd easily be happy about it, but in a short series, it isn't about how much you hit the ball, but when. I owe it to everyone that set the tables.
It was a big hit.
Match (Matsuda) was the one that got the really big hit. When I stepped into the box, I thought if I could keep the inning alive, the guys behind me would get it done.
You recorded the decisive hits in Game 2 and 3.
Decisive hit, more like the pitchers did a great job protecting the lead that was put together in the 1st. I'm just a representative. I'm accepting this award on behalf of everyone.
You helped the manager finish things with a bang.
I was sad and shocked when he told us before the Climax Series. It pushed us to here, so it worked out.
What about the cheering fans?
They're great. I feel lucky as a professional baseball player to be in an environment where fans react to each hit. It made me realize how important the fans are. I'm glad we were able to get this done during the last game in Fukuoka.
Again, how do you feel now that you've won the Nippon Series?
We experienced victories that are hard to come by and tasted bitterness that many don't. It's great that we were able to make it past all of that to win the Nippon Series.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014
How does it feel to win the Nippon Series?
Being able to win the Nippon Series as player chairman feels great. Everyone wanted to win this for the manager, so I'm glad we were able to do it.
You got a big hit.
I didn't have a good day. But I think the team helped with that last single to center. The manager talked about everyone stepping into the spotlight during a rally gathering before the Nippon Series. I made it into the spotlight at the last minute.
What are your thoughts on the manager?
I feel the manager helped me with my hitting. I feel full of gratitude for him.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014