is a baseball
park located near Kobe
, Hyōgo Prefecture
. The stadium
was built to host the national high school baseball tournaments
, and opened on April 1, 1924. It was the largest stadium in Asia
at the time it was completed, with a capacity of 55,000.
The name Kōshien (甲子園) comes from the Sexagenary cycle
system. The year of the stadium's founding, 1924, was the first year kōshi (甲子) in the cycle. The design of the stadium was heavily influenced by the Polo Grounds
in New York City
. In 1936
it became the home stadium
for the Osaka Tigers
(current Hanshin Tigers), now with the Central League
. On February 14, 1964, the name of the baseball park changed from Koshien Stadium to Hanshin Koshien Stadium
In addition to the annual National High School Baseball Championship
, played in August, the stadium hosts the annual National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament
in March, a smaller, invitational tournament. Both tournaments are generally known simply as Kōshien
. The high school tournaments are given a higher priority, with any tournament games that need to be rescheduled forcing the Tigers to postpone conflicting home games.
Legendary home run hitter Babe Ruth
played an exhibition game at Koshien on his Japan tour in 1934. There is a plaque at the stadium commemorating the event.
Repairs in the 21st century
The Great Hanshin earthquake
of 1995 affected Kōshien. Cracks appeared and part of the stands collapsed. In July 2004, a... Read More