What triggered my memory of this interesting oddity was Marcos V's article on that Mood Kayo duet between SDN48 and television presenter Monta Mino, "Kudokinagara Azabu-Juban"（口説きながら麻布十番）. I think there have been a fair share of duets between singers and non-singing celebs over the years, and "Hateshinai Yume wo" is one that has really settled into my brain.
I was never a big Japanese baseball fan but even I couldn't avoid the Shigeo Nagashima（長嶋茂雄）. He is the legendary Mr. Giants...the winning Tokyo (Yomiuri) Giants player from 1958-1974 and then manager of the same club from 1975-1980 and then 1993-2001. What has also increased his stature among the folks is his affable adorkability due to forgetfulness (feigned or not) and his hilarious remarks, often involving English (just check out the Trivia section in the Wiki article on him). Just imagine New York Yankees' Hideki Matsui and Yogi Berra spliced together. I've always stated that when Nagashima leaves this mortal coil altogether, there probably will be a few days of national mourning, whether or not one loved or hated the Giants.
So, just imagine my surprise when my J-Pop-loving university friend back in the 80s lent me a CD single of this mega-collaboration of pop/rock artists whose names sound like they were fished out of a bag of Scrabble tiles. And Nagashima is in there, too. "Hateshinai Yume wo" (Neverending Dream) was written by Show Wesugi（上杉昇）of rock band WANDS and the late Izumi Sakai（坂井泉水）of ZARD while Masayuki Deguchi（出口雅之）, aka REV, took care of the composing duties, and the song was meant to be the theme for NTV's nightly baseball program back in 1993.
The result was this rousing song of determination to boil up the blood of many a baseball player (pro, amateur or armchair) with this 90s J-Rock sound that made me wonder why B'z didn't get into this project. I also have to say that Sakai and one of the other vocals must have been reaching for the throat lozenges considering how high their voices had to go during recording. However, one must not forget the inclusion of Mr. Giants near the end....who frankly sounds like my father at the few times he's been to karaoke. Nagashima's adorkability quotient probably spiked a bit from this song as well.
Released in June 1993, "Hateshinai Yume wo" went as high as No. 2 on Oricon and became the 39th-ranked song of the year.