Big in Japan: Colonel Sanders Curse Broken

The Col. Sanders statue. Image by Kyodo Photo. Japanese baseball has its own curse, the 24-years-running Curse of Colonel Sanders, but with the discovery of a Colonel Sanders statue at the bottom of the Dotonbori River, fans of the Hanshin Tigers suspect their team is poised to make a comeback.

Back in 1985, the last time the Tigers won a championship, dedicated fans jumped into the Dotonbori dressed as the team's players.  But there wasn't a fan who looked like big white guy (and team MVP) Randy Bass, so they grabbed the nearest Col. Sanders facsimile and threw him in.  The Tigers haven't won a championship since.

Just last month, an Osaka construction crew found the statue, with its arms broken off, and the Colonel was quickly put back together again.

Bass, now a state senator in Oklahoma (and family friend of this guide writer, luckily enough), was enthusiastic about his likeness's rescue: "Now that they’ve found the Colonel, the curse is over and it’s time to put your money on the Tigers."

Many thanks to the excellent TokyoMango for the lead.