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2012 Hall of Famers Elected
The Players Selection Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has elected Manabu Kitabeppu and the late Tsunemi Tsuda from among 26 eligible candidates in the Players Division prepared by the Screening Committee. There were no successful candidates from among the 10 eligible candidates in the Expert Division. On the other hand, the Special Selection Committee has elected the late Kiro Osafune and the late Osamu Ohmoto from nine eligible candidates.

The membership of the Baseball Hall of Fame now numbers 177. The induction ceremony for Kitabeppu and Tsuda is scheduled to be held at the first game of the NPB All-Star Series at Kyocera Dome Osaka on Friday, July 20. The venue and date of the Induction ceremony for Osafune and Ohmoto are to be announced later.

"KITABEPPU, Manabu"

Born in Kagoshima Prefecture on July 12, 1957

After graduating from Miyakonojo Agricultural High School, he joined the Hiroshima Carp in 1976 as the first draft choice. From 1978 when he notched 10 wins, he continued to win 10 or more games for 11 consecutive years. He played an active part in helping the Hiroshima Carp to clinch the pennant in 1986, when he led the Central League in wins, won-lost percentage, & ERA, and won the MVP award.

After hanging up his spikes in 1994, he coached the Hiroshima Carp for four years (2001-2004).

His career record as a pitcher: 515 G, 213 W, 141 L, 3,113 IP, 1,757 SO and 3.67 ERA. He led the CL two times in victories (1982, 1986), three times in won-lost percentage (1985, 1986, 1991), and once in ERA (1986). He won the MVP prize once (1986) and the Sawamura Award twice (1982, 1986). He finished in the Top 10 in ERA eight times and appeared in the All-Star series seven times. He was also selected to the Best Nine twice and won the Golden Glove once.

He threw and batted right-handed.


"TSUDA, Tsunemi"

Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture on August 1, 1960, and died on July 20, 1993.

After graduating from Nanyo Technical High School, he played for the Kyowa Hakko industrial league team before joining the Hiroshima Carp as the first draft choice in 1982. In his first year, he started 19 games and won the Rookie of the Year award with a record of 11-6.

In 1986, his first year as a relief pitcher, he won the Comeback Award with four wins and 22 saves. In 1989, he won the Best Relief Pitcher Award with 12 wins and 28 saves. He hung up his spikes in 1993.

He threw and batted right-handed.

His career record as a pitcher: 286 G, 49 W, 41 L, 90 Saves, 693 IP, 542 SO, and 3.31 ERA. He led the Central League in won-lost percentage in 1983, finished once in the Top 10 in ERA, and appeared in the All-Star series five times.


"OSAFUNE, Kiro"

Born in Okayama Prefecture on January 30, 1924, and died on September 10, 2007.
He caught for the Waseda University team which won the pennant in the fall season of 1942 in the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League.

From 1952 until 2007 when he died at the age of 83, he worked for the Japan Student Baseball Association and played an important role in holding its big projects; the All-Japan University Baseball Championship, Meiji Shrine Baseball Championship and Japan-U.S.A. University Baseball Championship Series. In 1990, he took the initiative in organizing the Baseball Federation of Japan, consisting of all amateur baseball organizations. He was long active in its administration and became its president in 2007.

In 1994, he helped organize Japan Baseball to promote mutual development of and interchange between pro and amateur baseball. As a result of his efforts, a joint team was sent to the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and the “Nagashima Japan” team, consisting of all pro players, was sent to the Athens Olympics in 2004.

In 2006, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, for his long and comprehensive contributions to baseball. In April, 2007, he was awarded a Waseda University Sports Testimonial to his remarkable merits.


"OHMOTO, Osamu"

Born in Okayama Prefecture on April 1, 1925, and died on October 15, 2008.

After graduating from Shibaura Institute of Technology, he studied as a visiting researcher at MIT in 1967 and 1968. He got a doctorate in technology from Kyoto University in 1972 and taught at his alma mater as a professor from 1973 to 1997, serving as its president from 1991 to 1997. In the meantime, from 1975 to 1997, he was a visiting scholar at MIT and also visiting researcher at NASA, where he was later visiting professor from 1997 to 2002.

Though he majored in electrical engineering, he was fond of baseball and got involved with the safety of bats. He was adviser to the Commissioner of NPB from 1973 to 1998 and also to the Japan High School Baseball Association from 1993 to 2008.

In early 1970, when aluminum bats were introduced to high school baseball, he exerted himself, as chairman of the Safety Control Committee of the Consumer Product Safety Association, to set up the safety standard of aluminum bats and other baseball equipment. In 1985, he was asked by the said Commissioner to study how to prevent wooden bats from breaking as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Various Problems on Bats.

In October, 2000, an NPO, “The Society for Nurturing Aodamo Resources,” was set up at his proposal and with wide support from pro and amateur baseball. He acted as its chief director until his death in 2008. The society has continued planting seedlings in Hokkaido every spring with a wide range of participation; pro baseball players, local high school students and Little Leaguers. The movement has given an impetus to improvement of the pro–amateur relationship.

For his splendid work in study and education in the field of electron optics, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in 2001.



 

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