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|Articles in NEWSLETTER, Vol.14, No.4
p.1 2005 Hall of Famers elected Fumio Kobayashi, President
The Selection Committee on Players met on Thursday, January 6 and confirmed on counting the 287 ballots sent in from its members that Choji Murata, former Lotte Orions pitcher, and Masaaki Mori, former Seibu Lions manager, were duly elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Special Selection Committee met on Friday, January 7 and selected Masayori Shimura, former NHK announcer, as the successful candidate, bringing the total number of Hall of Famers to 154.
The announcement of the 2005 inductees was made at a press conference at the Hall of Fame at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11. It was attended by Choji Murata, Masayori Shimura, and three officials of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The inductees (excepting Mori, who lives in Hawaii and was absent due to a previous engagement) each gave a short speech after Yasuchika Negoro, Chairman of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum awarded them the certificate of their induction to the Hall of Fame. Murata said he would go on to teach baseball to boys and girls living in outlying small islands and Shimura said that being inducted into the Hall of Fame was the greatest joy in his 91 years of life. In his message from Hawaii, Mori expressed his joy and thanks to all the people concerned.
Their achievements were briefly explained by each representative of the two selection committees. The press conference ended with congratulatory speeches by two guests: Masaichi Kaneda, 1988 Hall of Famer and former Lotte Orions manager, and Yoshio Nishida, former NHK announcer and a member of the Special Selection Committee.
The Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, July 22 at Seibu Dome, where the first game of the 2005 All-Star Games is to be held.
Photo left: (from left to right) Negoro, Shimura, Murata, Tadao Koike, President of the Pacific League, and Hajime Toyokura, President of the Central League.
Photo right: (from left to right) Nishida, Shimura, Murata, and Kaneda
p.2 Inductees by the Selection Committee on Players
Teruaki Yonetani, Representative of the Selection Committee on Players
MURATA, Choji 152nd Hall of Famer
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on November 27, 1949
He joined the Tokyo Orions in 1968 as the top draft pick on graduating from Fukuyama Radio Technical High School(now Fukuyama High School attached to Kinki University.) He made a memorable pro debut with a shutout on May 23, 1969, against the Nankai Hawks. (In 1969 his team was renamed the Lotte Orions)
In 1971, he established his pitching style which won him the most saves in 1975, the best ERA in 1975, 1976, the most strikeouts in 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1981, and the most wins in 1981. He was famous for his dynamic gbroadaxh pitching, but in 1982 he suffered from an elbow injury and was sidelined for a couple of years.
An operation by the famous Dr. Jobe in August 1983 enabled him to make a miraculous comeback in August 1984. In the following year, he started the season with an 11-game streak and ended with 17 wins and 5 losses. During the rest of his career, he garnered 10 wins or more two more times. His Annus Mirabilis was 1989 when he won the best ERA of the season and, in the first game of the annual All-Star Games, he pitched ; the Pacific League to victory (the oldest pitcher who has done this feat) and was awarded the MVP.
He retired from his pitching career in 1990 and coached the Daiei Hawks from 1995 to 1997.
His career record: 22 seasons, 604 games, 215 W, 177 L, 3,331.1 IP, 2,363 SO, 3.24 ERA, 9 times in ERA Best 10, appeared 13 times in the annual All-Star Games and once in the Best Nine. He throws and bats right.
MORI, Masaaki 153rd Hall of Famer
Born in Gifu Prefecture on January 9, 1937.
After participating in the classic summer tournament as catcher for Gifu High School, he joined the Yomiuri Giants in 1955. Once he became a regular catcher in 1959, he never yielded his position to any new powerful and ambitious rival in his active duty with the Giants until 1974, during which the Giants on the pennant 12 times including the famous 9-season steak in the Japan Series (1965-73)DHis contribution as a pivotal catcher is proved by the fact that he was in the Best Nine for 8 consecutive years(1961-68)and that in 1967 he won MVP in the Japan Series.
Afterwards he coached the Yakult Swallows (1978-79) and the Seibu Lions (1982-84). In 1986 he succeeded Tatsuro Hirooka(1992 Hall of Famer) as manager of the Seibu Lions(1986-94), which he led to victory 8 times in the Pacific League, including two three-year streaks in the Japan Series. Later he managed the Yokohama BayStars for two years (2001-2).
His career record as player: 20 seasons, 1,884 games, 5,686 AB, 1,341 H, 582 RBI, 81 HR, .236 BA; appeared 11 times in the All-Star Games.
His career record as manager: 11 seasons, 1,436 games, 785 W, 583 L, 68 ties, .574 WA; Won the Shoriki Prize in 1986 and 1990. He throws right and bats left.
p.3 Inductee by the Special Selection Committee
Daigo Tamura, Representative of the Special Selection Committee
SHIMURA, Masayori 154th Hall of Famer
Born in Tokyo on October 2, 1913.
On graduating from Meiji University in 1936, he joined NHK(Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or Japan Broadcasting Corporation), which had started broadcasting in 1925 as one of the 2nd cohort of announcers. His broadcasting career is almost identical with the history of Japanfs pro baseball in that he was the very announcer who made the first radio coverage of the game in which the legendary pitcher Eiji Sawamura (1959 Hall of Fame) went to the mound.
Broadcasts of games of the Tokyo Big-Six University League games made by his seniors had been very popular and so at first the fledgling was assigned to cover newly-started pro baseball (1936) under the strict guidance of his seniors. It was fortunate for him to cover the game between the Giants and the Senators at Suzaki Stadium on November 29, 1936. gPitcher Sawamura winds up. He kicks up his leg so high that the sole of the spike is clearly visible.h His expression was so clear and easy to visualize that the audience could imagine themselves at the stadium watching the game.
It was also Shimura who covered the first game after World War II. His familiar voice was on the air again. gI am very happy to cover a professional baseball game after a long absence.h It was the East versus the West game held on November 23, 1945. He also did live play-by-play radio announcing for the first baseball game of TBSUL after World WarU.
On the way back from covering the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, he dropped by at Yankee Stadium. He was so impressed by the running commentary being done by Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, that three years later, in 1955, he had Tokuro Konishi (1971 Hall of Famer) with him to comment on the games. The combination of a fluent announcer and an ex-baseball manager who spoke slowly but steadily with unique elocution enjoyed an instant and enduring popularity. It was a partnership that might remind older fans of Abbott and Costello. One of their most memorable broadcasts was at a game between the Giants and the Tigers with the royal attendance of the Emperor and Empress at Korakuen Stadium on June 25, 1959. His articles in the monthly Yakyu Shonen (Baseball Kids), which lasted for several years from 1947, were avidly read among baseball fans.
He retired from NHK in 1969.
Yoshio Nishida, former NHK announcer and now a new member of the Special Selection Committee, said in his congratulatory speech at the press conference, gHis induction is symbolic of the contribution to the promotion of baseball done by broadcasting and the baseball world has long recognized that Shimura was always in the vanguard of baseball broadcasting.hShimura expressed his joy by saying that it was the most wonderful day in his 91 years of life.
p.4 Rara avis (50) gOsaka Tigers Coming!h Takahiro Sekiguchi, Co-curator
The Hanshin Tigers, former Osaka Tigers, are going to celebrate their 70th anniversary on December 10, 2005. They were second only to the present Yomiuri Giants in participating in the newly-starting Japan Professional Baseball League, which was initiated on February 5, 1936.
The uniqueness of this impressive poster, 104cm x 75cm, with its red background, lies in the fact that unlike other posters announcing the dates and admission fees, it was made for the promotion of the team, listing the members of the team for the 1936 season. It was produced by Genichi Hayakawa, a staff member of Hanshin Electric Railway Company. Our museum also possesses more than ten other posters produced by him.
From February 23, a special exhibition, gWith Fans for 70 Years ~ History of the Hanshin Tigersh will be held at Osaka History Museum. Along with a replica of this poster, a total of 22 artifacts in our possession are to be exhibited there, including a glove used by Shigeo Yoshida, 1992 Hall of Famer, and a uniform worn by Akinobu Okada, now Tigers manager, in 1985 when the Tigers won the Japan Series.
Coming Exhibition: Autographs by Great Players ` Can You Make Out Their Handwriting?
Tuesday, February 8 through Sunday, April 10
At the Multi-Purpose Hall of the BHFM
The exhibition will display shikishi (fancy cardboards), bats, balls, and other baseball kits autographed by great players, past and present, headed by Babe Ruth, Sadaharu Oh, Ichiro Suzuki, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. You will be able to enjoy guessing at their names by following hints.
Standing Exhibition: Japanese Olympic Team
The Japanese Olympic team popularly called Nagashima Japan, which won the Bronze in the 2004 Olympics at Athens, is being honored at the Japanese Baseball Corner with an exhibition of the uniforms worn by the 24 members together with the Rising Sun Flag and a uniform which was to be worn by Manager Nagashima.
p.5 COLUMN: Much to See, Much to Enjoy (13)
Joys and sorrows in searching for photographs
Tetsuya Onishi, Nippon Sports Publishers, editor of Homerun
As readers can understand, photographs are a must in editing a magazine. A small publisher like ours is obliged to rely on the press for old photographs, but we cannot always afford to buy them at the prices offered. Sometimes we try to make use of personal connections (an acquaintancefs acquaintance or affiliation, for example) to get a valuable photograph. In handling the material we have borrowed, we always take painstaking care to return it unscarred. Sometimes we borrow albums from schools with long years of baseball history. They often prove to be valuable old records and recollections, and we want to discover episodes hitherto unknown to the general public.
Now it is a custom for a defeated team at the annual Summer Tournament in Koshien Stadium to scrape out a clod of dirt from the playing ground (and later scatter it on their own playing ground as a charm for their good fortune). This custom, we happened to discover, started in 1946 with the members of the Middle School attached to Tokyo Higher Normal School.
p.6 Library News
Baseball Magazines published for a short period after WWU
Reiko Yamane, Co-Librarian
Baseball magazines flourished soon after the last war due to the redoubled interest in baseball. Though short in their publication, they were avidly read throughout the country.
A list of 15 magazines with their brief contents is given here followed by a photograph of their cover page in the same order as in the above list. The following is a literal translation of their titles.
1-Japan Sports, 2-Ball Friends, 3-Baseball Kids, 4-Baseball Club
5-Baseball Age, 6-Baseball King, 7-Baseball World, 8-All Baseball,
9-All Baseball, 10-Baseball Japan, 11-Hot Ball, 12-Baseball Fan,
13-Baseball Times, 14-Home Run, 15-Slugger
p.7 New Sustaining Members Invited
Since its foundation in 1959 as a museum specializing in baseball, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has been dedicated to its functions of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting materials on baseball and related sports. We now have about 30,000 artifacts and photographs, and some 50,000 books and magazines, and we have more than 120,000 visitors per year to the baseball museum and the baseball library. We have honored baseball greats by inducting them into the Hall of Fame through annual selections by the Selection Committee for Players and the Special Selection Committee.
Sustaining members endorse and support the above projects by paying membership fees.
Privilege of Sustaining Members
Sustaining members are entitled to receive the following:
2)Complimentary ticket valid throughout the year
3)5 courtesy tickets for non-members (Individual membership)
20 courtesy tickets for non-members (Corporation membership)
4)Occasional News Release
In addition to these, new sustaining members are to be honored with a Copy of The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 2002, A Guide.
There are two kinds of sustaining members. The yearly membership is valid from April to March.
1)Individual membership (Membership fee is \10,000 )
*The membership fee varies according to the month joined:
October to December, \5,000; January to March, \2,000
2)Corporate membership (Membership fee is \100,000 )
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Takagi or Takeuchi at the management (03-3811-3600)
The Baseball Museum Bulletin
1) Changes in the staff
Wataru Yamaguchi, Administration Director, was transferred to Tokyo Dome, and was replaced by Toshio Hori, who has been transferred from Tokyo Dome.
2) Artifacts displayed at 12 Pro Teams Corner will be changed to the 2005 version towards the end of March.
3) Guide to Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The entrance is located to the right of Gate 21 of Tokyo Dome.
Hours: 10:00 ` 18:00 (March through September)
10:00 ` 17:00 (October through February)
(Visitors are requested to enter at least 30 minutes prior to the closing time)
Admission: \400 (\300*) Adults
\200 (\150*) Primary and junior high school pupils
(*per person in groups of 20 or more)
Open: Tuesday through Sunday, every day of the year except December 29 through January 1
Closed: Mondays except those 1) during the spring and summer school vacations,
2) that fall on National Holidays, and/or
3) when a professional baseball game is played in Tokyo Dome
N.B. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will be closed on the following days:
February 7, 14, 21, and 28
March 7 and 14
April 11, 18, and 25
Warning: Elevator construction work at the Entrance will last till the end of February. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.
p.8 Essay (19) Pro baseball still has a dream? Yes!
Yasuhiro Ishida, Representative of the Selection Committee on Players,
Kyodo News Agency
Japanese pro baseball celebrated its 70th anniversary last year with epoch-making changes. The initial 1-league era was followed by the 2-league era in 1950, but the system almost collapsed last year and barely survived after much ado involving the first strike by the players. The Kintetsu Buffaloes, the oldest team in the Pacific League, was merged into the Orix Buffaloes, and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the newest team in the 2-league era, was born. The Daiei Hawks were sold to Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. What would Eiji Sawamura, legendary hero of the 1-league era who now would be 88 years old if he had survived the last war, think of this turmoil?
Indeed, the Pacific League has been run in the red showing a deficit of 3 billion yen. All the star players are apt to go to the MLB. But IMAGINE like John Lennon. Young hopefuls will come up one after another. Winners in the Japan Series will participate in the playoffs in the MLB. All the teams will do away with the name of their sponsors and a complete franchise system will be put in place.
If we have a dream, it will lead to a motivation to change the status quo, NPB and JPBPA (management and players) will sit at the same table and talk about the problems in question with the same object in common: the prosperity of pro baseball in Japan. The reorganization of the pro baseball world has induced nationwide interest and discussion. Everybody seems to have a word on this problem. Baseball has proved to be a culture.
Like baku (an imaginary beast in old China; its nose is that of an elephant, eyes of a rhinoceros, tail of an ox, body of a bear), letfs eat bad dreams and have a good and forward-looking dream!