Translation of a Japanese phrase, ON taiketsu, meaning a game between the teams managed by the 2 greats of Japanese Baseball, Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima. “O” and “N” are the last initials of Mr. Oh, the current Fukuoka Daiei Hawks manager, and Mr. Nagashima, the current Tokyo Yomiuri Giants manager.
Oh’s Pacific League Hawks and Nagashima’s Central League Giants play in different leagues in Japanese professional baseball, therefore it is a rarity outside of spring training to have an ON taiketsu. However, the 2000 Japan Series pitted the 1999 Champions Hawks versus the Giants for the Championship, in which the Giants made a comeback from 2 games down to win in 6 games.
The reason why ON confrontations are such a big deal is because Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima are former Tokyo Yomiuri Giants teammates. They teamed up for 16 seasons in which they played integral parts of the Giants dynasty that won 11 Japan Series championships.