Back in 1985 jubilant baseball fans thew a life-size statue of KFC’s Colonel Sanders into the Dotonbori River after Japan’s Hanshin Tigers won a championship.
The team hasn’t won a championship since.
But on Wednesday divers found the statue, and some believe the curse may be finally over.
The fans had picked the Col. Harland Sanders statue because it was the closest thing they could find that looked like Randy Bass, the team’s star slugger.
Bass tells NPR’s Robert Siegel that usually fans who look like the players they’re celebrating jump into the river. But because no one looked like the blond, bearded Bass, they grabbed the statue, dressed it up in Bass’ uniform and tossed it.
Bass, who played 130 games over six seasons with five major league clubs including the Hanshin Tigers, is now a state senator for Oklahoma.
“It’s incredible,” Bass says. “Put all of your money on the Tigers, that’s for sure. They definitely have a shot. They have a great team, too.”