Posts Tagged ‘curse of the colonel’

Bass Celebrated In Japan As ‘Curse’ Lifted

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Oklahoma Lawmaker Played For Hanshin Tigers In Mid-1980s, March 12, 2009

Randy BassLAWTON, Okla. — An Oklahoma state lawmaker from Lawton is being celebrated again in Japan on Thursday, more than 20 years after his baseball career ended overseas and 23 years after a legendary incident.

That’s because the “Curse of the Colonel” may have been lifted. State Sen. Randy Bass, who turns 55 on Friday, was a Major League Baseball player for six seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s before embarking on a Japanese baseball career, widely considered to be the greatest for any American in Japan.

Bass is also credited with turning around the fortune of the Hanshin Tigers, a team that won the Japan Series in 1985. As part of the championship celebration, fans who resembled players on the team jumped into a dirty body of water.

Because none of the fans looked like the bearded American, a life-sized statue of Colonel Harlan Sanders — famous as the personification of KFC and the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken — was thrown into the Dotonbori River.

Having not won another Japan Series title since 1985, some fans of the Hanshin Tigers have attributed their championship drought to the so-called curse. The Colonel Sanders statue was retrieved this week; however, and Tigers’ fans and Bass hope the “curse” will be lifted.

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