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Four Hall of Famers for 2014 Elected
The Players Selection Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame (329 members) has elected Hideo Nomo, Koji Akiyama and Kazuhiro Sasaki from among 22 eligible candidates (4 new candidates and 18 returnees) in the Players Division prepared by the Screening Committee. The Expert Division of the PSC (the membership is 112) has failed to select successful candidates from among 20 eligible candidates (11 new candidates and 9 returnees).
The Special Selection Committee, on the other hand, has selected Choichi Aida from among the 10 eligible candidates. The membership of the SSC is 14.
The membership of the Baseball Hall of Fame is now 184, including 37 living Hall of Famers. The site and date of the 2014 Induction Ceremony are to be decided in due course of time.

"NOMO, Hideo"

Born in Osaka Prefecture on August 31, 1968.

Graduating from Seijo Technical High School, he entered Nippon Steel Corporation Sakai in 1987 and pitched for its team for three years with a marked record. He led the Japan team to the silver medal in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

In 1990, he joined the Kintetsu Buffaloes as the first draft choice and exerted an unprecedentedly marvelous performance in his first year, sweeping almost all of the awards: MVP; Sawamura Award, the Rookie of the Year, most strikeouts (287), and most wins (18). He pitched in 235 innings, the most in the Pacific League, and was selected to the Best Nine. In his five years with the Buffaloes, he led the P.L. four times in most strikeouts (1990-93), and four times in most wins (1990-93). Also he was listed in the ERA Best Ten three times and appeared in the All-Star Series five times.

His record in NPB: 5 seasons (1990-94), 139 games, 78 wins, 46 losses, 1 save, 1,051.1 innings pitched, 1,204 strikeouts, and 3.15 ERA.

In 1995, he became the first Major Leaguer in 31 years following the pioneer pitcher Masanori Murakami (1964-65), and stirred a great sensation in the MLB. His fast ball and forkball in the unique tornado pitching earned another spectacular first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995. He fanned 236 batters, the most in the National League, started in the All-Star Game, and won the Rookie of the Year. The Doctor K played for 7 teams (Dodgers, 1995-98, 2002-04; Mets, 1998; Bulwers,1999; Tigers,2000; Red Sox, 2001; Devil Rays, 2005; and Royals, 2008). One of his feats was a no-hit, no-run game in both the National and American Leagues.

His record in MLB:12 seasons, 123 wins, 109 losses, 1,976.1 innings pitched, 1,918 strikeouts, and 4.24 ERA.


"AKIYAMA, Koji"

Born in Kumamoto Prefecture on April 6, 1962.

After graduation from Yatsushiro High School, he joined the Seibu Lions outside of the draft system. Slow to mature, but the agile and swift outfielder broke out in 1985 with 40 home runs and 93 RBI. After hitting 41 home runs in 1986, he led the Pacific League in home runs (43) in 1987. He was not only a three hundred hitter but joined the prestigious 30-30 club, achieving so-called “triple-three” in 1989. Another feat in the same year was hitting for the cycle on July 13. The slugger led the league in stolen bases in 1990 and re-joined the 30-30 club. Thus he contributed greatly to the Lions’ winning the pennant 8 times and 6 victories in the Japan Series, as witness the Shoriki Matsutaro Award in 1991.

After playing for the Lions for 13 years, he joined the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 1995. He led the team as captain to its first victory in the Japan Series in 1999.Though he left the team after 2002, he became its coach in 2005 (renamed Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the same year) and has been managing the team since 2009. In 2011, he led the Hawks to its second (fifth inclusive of the former Nankai Hawks) victory in the Japan Series and won his second Shoriki Matsutaro Award.

His career record as a player: 20 seasons, 2,189 games, 7,997 at bat, 2,157 hits, 1,312 runs batted in, 437 home runs, most game-winning RBI two times (1985, 87) and .270 batting average. He was selected to the Best Nine 8 times, won the Golden Glove Award 11 times, finished in the Top 10 in batting 5 times, and appeared in the All-Star Series 18 times. He threw and batted right-handed.

His record as manager: 6 seasons (including one game in 2008), 721 games (ditto), 378 wins, 309 losses, 34 ties.


"SASAKI, Kazuhiro"

Born in Miyagi Prefecture on February 22, 1968.

The good pitcher at Tohoku High School (1984-85) and Tohoku Fukushi University (1986-89) joined the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1990 as its first draft choice. In 1991, he found his element in relieving and became the best relief pitcher five times (1992, 95-98). His best year was in 1998 when he saved 22 successive games (April 26 through June 30), The closer notched 45 saves and played an active part in leading the team to its first victory in 38 years in the Central League and in the Japan Series. He was awarded the best pitcher and the MVP, selected to the Best Nine and won the Shoriki Matsutaro Award. (The YTW was renamed Yokohama Baystars in 1993.)

His record in the NPB: 12 seasons, 439 games, 43 wins, 38 losses, 252 saves, 627.2 innings pitched, 851 strikeouts, and 2.41 ERA. He was an All-Star 8 times.

In 2000, the forkballer “DAIMAJIN” pitched for the Seattle Mariners. He notched 37 saves and became the Rookie of the Year. His record in four years (2000-03) in the MLB with the Mariners:228 games, 7 wins, 16 losses, 129 saves, 223.1 innings pitched, 242 strlkeouts, and 3.14 ERA. He appeared in the All-Star Game in 2001 and 2002.

He threw and batted right-handed.


"AIDA, Choichi"

He was born in Hokkaido on May 19, 1921 and died on April 17, 2012.

In 1940, he entered Waseda University and intended to pitch for the baseball club, but he ruined his arm and turned manager’s assistant. In 1943, in the midst of WW II, he mustered support from people concerned to hold the presumedly last baseball game between Waseda and Keio Universities. It was a baseball way of departure ceremony for students off to the front. He worked hard to secure their baseball implements against war ravage by keeping it at the training quarters. Soon after the war, these bats, balls and gloves proved to be indispensable for other university baseball clubs to resume baseball.

Young as he was, he was one of the masterminds to obtain permission to use the Meiji-Jingu Stadium and hold a baseball game by former members of Tokyo Big6 University League as early as October 28, 1945. The stadium had been requisitioned by the GHQ. It was through painstaking negotiations by the same kindred spirits that the Meiji-JIngu Stadium, a mecca of student baseball, was finally restored to Japanese jurisdiction in March, 1952. In the meantime, he was student manager from 1946 until his graduation in 1947 when he was succeeded by Shigeo Mori, 1977 Hall of Famer.

For more than 30 years, he was actively involved with the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League as one of its directors and umpires. Particularly he took a great part in improving the techniques necessary for umpires as an umpiring consultant. He actually umpired in high school baseball, and most notably in 1958 at the summer HS Baseball Championship at Koshien Stadium, he acted as chief umpire at the legendary quarterfinal game between Tokushima Commercial HS and Uotsu HS which ended in a tie after 18 innings and its make-up game on the following day.

Last but not least, he has left behind a great achievement in the development of amateur baseball by successively holding various important posts as councilor and director for the Japan Student Baseball Association, and as those for All Japan University Baseball Federation.



 

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