（Translated by Ryuichi Suzuki）
p.1 Induction Ceremony for the 2011 Hall of Famers
Shinichi Hirose, President
The Induction Ceremony for the 2011 Hall of Famers, Hiromitsu Ochiai and the late Mutsuo Minagawa, was
held on Friday, July 22, 2011, at Nagoya Dome preceding Game 1 of the 3-game All-Star Series in full
view of the All-Stars in the playing field and a large number of spectators in the stands.
Hiromitsu Ochiai, now manager of the Chunichi Dragons, played with Fuchu Toshiba after graduating from
Akita Technical High School. In 1979, he joined the Lotte Orions as the 3rd choice in the draft. The infielder
led the Pacific League in batting in 1981 with .324 BA. In the following year he won the Triple Crown at the
age of 28, the youngest ever to garner the coveted title. In 1985 and 1986, he won the Triple Crown back to
back, becoming the first player to win the Triple Crown three times in the NPB. He played for the Chunichi
Dragons from 1987 to 1993, during which he led the Central League in HR (1990-91) and RBI (1989-90). He also played for the Yomiuri Giants (1994-96) and the Nippon Ham Fighters (1997-98).
Graduating from Yonezawa West (now Kojokan) High School, the late Mutsuo Minagawa joined the Nankai
Hawks in 1954. He was a consistent and durable sidearm pitcher in their heyday, as is witnessed by 10 or more wins during his 18-year career (1954-71). His best year was in 1968 when he was selected into the Best Nine by notching 31 wins and leading the PL in most wins and best ERA (1.61). After hanging up his spikes, he coached the Hanshin Tigers (1976-77), Yomiuri Giants (1986-88), and Kintetsu Buffaloes (1991-92).
At the Induction Ceremony, with all of the managers, coaches and members of the Central and Pacific Leagues’ All-Stars standing in front of the benches, Hiromitsu Ochiai, and Mrs. Machiko Minagawa, widow of the late Mutsuo Minagawa stood near the pitcher’s mound with their guests to watch the big screen introduce the playing days of the new Hall of Famers. Ryozo Kato, Chairman of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, awarded them with a replica of their plaques which are to be displayed on the wall of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then a bouquet presentation was made: to Ochiai from Norifumi Nishimura, now manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines and formerly his teammate, and to Mrs. Minagawa from Katsuya Nomura, who joined the Nankai Hawks in the same year and had long been his batterymate. After the taking of commemorative photographs, Ochiai made the acceptance speech in uniform for the first time since 1965 when Tetsuharu Kawakami and Kazuto Tsuruoka were inducted. As manager of the championship team last year, he was automatically manager of the CL All-Stars. First he, who had won almost all awards in pro baseball, told with deep emotion how he was encouraged by his wife to get the most difficult and highest award in baseball, i.e., to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Lastly, as he and Minagawa were from Tohoku district, he ended his speech with an encouraging message addressed to people in Tohoku district who have been striving to recover from the great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. The ceremony ended with a storm of cheers from the fans in the stands.
(Photo from left:
Norifumi Nishimura, Hiromitsu Ochiai, Ryozo Kato, Mrs.Machiko Minagawa,
and Katsuya Nomura)
p.2 Summer Events and Exhibition for 2011
1) Baseball Study by Elementary and Junior High School Students
Through Sunday, September 4, 2011, at Baseball Library and adjacent area
Baseball terminology, stadiums, equipment, statistics, and history of
baseball will be
some of the topics available for young students during their
The two librarians and student assistants will be on hand
to show them how to read books
in the library and use artifacts on display ~ bats, gloves, and balls (official ones used in NPB
and MLB). (Photo from 2010)
2) Demonstration of bat making
Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20, 2011
11:00-12:00, 13:30-14:30, and 15:00-16:00
At the Baseball Hall of Fame; with cooperation by Mizuno Corporation
It will mark the 8h year of bat making demonstration at the baseball museum.
The craftsman at work will be ready to answer any questions from the floor.
It will make a good subject for free study. (Photo from 2010)
1) Special Exhibition “Pro Baseball Heroes”
Through Sunday, September 4, 2011, at the Exhibition Hall
In the 70-odd years of history of Japan’s pro baseball, a great many heroes have fascinated
fans with their spectacular performances. The current exhibition features those heroes,
past and present, with their artifacts supplemented by explanations of their historical
(Photo) Uniforms worn by Sadaharu Oh (1), Shigeo Nagashima (3), Ichiro Suzuki (51)
and Yu Darvish.
2) Special Exhibition “Hall of Famers for 2011”
Through Sunday, October 16, 2011, at the Baseball Hall of Fame
The exhibition features the two 2011 Hall of Famers; Hiromitsu Ochiai and
Minagawa. Artifacts and photos related to the new inductees and their plaques are on display with their biographies and records.
p.3 Inductees Remembered (32)
A memory of my late father
Kazuhiko Iwamoto, eldest son of Yoshiyuki Iwamoto, 1981 Hall of Famer
Yoshiyuki Iwamoto, my father, was born in 1912 and graduated from Meiji University in 1934. When pro
baseball was started in 1936, he turned down an offer from all of the clubs, being unwilling to play baseball
professionally. In 1940 he joined and played with the Nankai (the present SoftBank) for three years. After a
6-year blank due to the last war, he played with the Taiyo Robins (the present Yokohama BayStars) (1949-1953), and it was during that time that I have the first clear memories of my father.
It was the day when there was no franchise system so that players were at home only a week in a month.
My father barely took one holiday, but there was no time left for him to take me out for pleasure. Two
things stand out in my memory about him as a player. The one is that when he was hitless at a game, he was
in a bad temper back home and speechless until he went to bed. The other is that he was all smiles and in a
good humor when I went all the way to Omiya to meet him and thence rode back with him to Ueno station.
In the game at Ueda in Nagano Prefecture, he had established a new pro record by hitting 18 total bases!
Incidentally throughout his pro baseball career, he had never taken home any ommemorative item or
supplementary prize from the game. When it was over, he used to give them generously to his supporters
and fans. The commemorative item for his said feat was reportedly a golden buckle but naturally it was
gone somewhere. Exceptionally indeed, the supplementary prize, a table clock, was the only item which
found its way back home in his 10 years as an active player.
After a two-year blank, he managed the Toei Flyers for five years (1956-1960). In those days, the team was
always in the bottom half of the league. Having a small pool of players to draw on, he had to play himself
for the first two years. Actually he once caught for the team at the age of 45. It was hard days for him all the
more because, when the team lost the game, there was a telephone call from the owner as late as at ten o’clock at
night and he had to endure listening to the hindsight lecture for as long as half an hour . “Why didn’t you do a squeeze play?” “Why did you (not) replace the pitcher?” It was such an unpleasant experience for all the family
too that when he was egged to resign at the end of the second year, they were all in favor of his resignation. He
never read the newspaper when he lost the game. When he was victorious, however, he would go to the nearest
station on the following morning and buy a newspaper different from the one he was subscribing regularly. It was
impressive indeed to see him all in smiles reading his winning game.
Later he managed the Kintetsu Baffaloes (1965-1966). As my father lived with my mother in Osaka leaving me
alone in Tokyo, I have a faint memory of him in those days. After he retired, he devoted himself to boys’ baseball.
In instructing them, he was not too scrupulous about teaching techniques, but intent on encouraging them to have
interest in baseball and to try to improve by themselves. He was worried about the dearth of aodamo, materials of
bats, and was working out its afforestation program, but had to leave it halfway when he died in September, 2008,
at the age of 96.
p.4 Rara avis (75) “The Moment of Catching a Ball” (A bronze statue)
Miwako Atarashi, Co-curator
Let me introduce a bronze statue named, “The moment of catching a ball.” It was placed in the care of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1973 by the family of the deceased Kannosuke Nakamatsu (Joint Commissioner, 1968-1971). It is a work by Koyu Fujii, a member of Japan Art Institute. Though not so high (23 cm in height), it is full of youth and freshness. Its photograph appears in a large format in Undo Nenkan (Athletic Yearbook) (1919), which says that it was one of the commemorative items presented to the members of the Japan Baseball Umpire Association on the occasion of the First All-Kanto vs All-Kansai Baseball Match in 1918.
The match was held at Naruo Ground on November 23, 1918 between the All-Kansai consisting of top-notch players living in Osaka and Kobe and the All-Kanto consisting of its counterparts in Tokyo and Yokohama. It attracted a large number of baseball fans because all of them were former members of leading baseball teams (Waseda, Keio, Ichiko and others). The match began at 1:30 p.m. with a ceremonial first pitch by Chiyosaburo Takeda, vice president of the Japan Amateur Sports Association. The All-Kansai went in to bat first, scoring 2 in the second inning, 1 each in the 6th and 7th innings, while the All-Kanto remained scoreless, and won the inaugural game 3 to 0. The chief umpire was Hisashi Koshimoto (Keio, 1967 Hall of Famer), and base umpires being Tadao Ichioka (Waseda, 1962 HOF), Kannosuke Nakamatsu (Ichiko) and Orita (unknown).
The second game of the first match was held on the following day, the All-Kansai defeating the All-Kanto 6 to 3. It was succeeded by an intrasquad game with 7 innings participated by all members present including umpires. Team A with an Ishikawa-Nakamatsu battery defeated Team B with an Orita and Ashida-Takahama battery by a score of 3 to 2. The year of 1918 was a memorable one for Nakamatsu. At Ichiko, he was the batterymate of pitcher Yushi Uchimura (Commissioner, 1962-1965, 1983 HOF). Ichiko defeated all of the leading teams, Waseda, Keio, Gakushuin and Sanko (a peer high school in Kyoto) and brought about its golden age again.
In 1919, the second match of the All-Kanto vs the All-Kansai Match was held in April at Waseda Totsuka Stadium in Tokyo and the third in November at Naruo Ground.
The roster of the first All-Kanto vs All-Kansai Match on November 23, 1918
(Their alma mater in the blanket. Future Hall of Famers are indicated by their induction year.)
8 Kyosuke Yawata (Waseda) 6 Kichibei Kato （Waseda）
4 Sukekatsu Izumitani (Waseda) 4 Tatsuo Saeki (Waseda, 1981)
6 Kohei Okazaki (Ichiko) C Daisuke Miyake (Keio, 1969)
C Zensuke Shimada (Keio, 1969) 8 Shigeru Takahama (Keio)
3 Kazuma Sugase (Keio) 3 Koichi Togashi (Keio)
9 Mango Koyama (Keio) 9 Inasaburo Masuda (Waseda)
P Kohei Ashida (Ichiko) 5 Teru Kusaka (Keio)
5 Yaichiro Sakurai (Keio, 1960) 7 Moriichi Nishio (Waseda)
7 Yoshio Asanuma (Waseda) P Shinra Ishikawa (Keio)
p.5 Column: Many to See, Much to Enjoy
Distinguished catcher lost in a wartime fire
~ Masaki Yoshihara, strongest catcher of the Giants~
Masaru Sawamiya, non-fiction writer
It was when I was a fourth grader that I first came to know Masaki Yoshihara, a noted catcher of the pre-war Giants. A baseball magazine for young boys said that with Tetsuharu Kawakami as his batterymate, he led his Kumamoto Technical School to finish second in the all-Japan middle school baseball championship at Koshien and when he chased a foul ball in his first year (1938) with the Giants, he grasped a caught ball tightly even
though he collided with the bench roof with his head covered in blood. Moreover, he was swift-footed for a
catcher and worthy to be called a prototype of modern day catcher. Tetsuharu Kawakami (1965 Hall of Famer)
was called a god of batting and, speaking of a sports hero, he was the one for a boy like me from the same
Prefecture. So it was a great surprise for me when I learned that the Giants were in reality more desirous of
acquiring Yoshihara than Kawakami. It was miraculous indeed that such a splendid player as Yoshihara
came from no other than Kumamoto Prefecture.
He played in pro baseball only for four years, as he was enlisted in 1942 and was later killed in an action in
Burma. He now lives only in a living memory of those who knew him directly or indirectly. Nearly 60 years
had passed since his death and he was on the verge of falling into oblivion. In the winter of 1999, I decided to
write his biography to impart the beauty of living in earnest to the troubled young generation. I began to
frequent the baseball library of the Baseball Museum.
Every time I turned the pages of the contemporary Yakyukai (Baseball World) and the scrapbooks of pre-war Yomiuri Shimbun, I felt I grasped the real image of the legendary Yoshihara. A photo in Yomiuri Shimbun dated
July 23, 1938 depicts him tugging a runner and, with a glare in his eyes, thrusting a ball to the umpire. The
caption says, “Yoshihara’s stubborn defense; Eguchi tagged out to his chagrin.” In a game against Kinko he was
collided with an onrushing runner. Though he was thrusted aside and got a cut lip, he would not let go of the
ball in his mitt. The spectators cheered wildly when the umpire called the runner out. When he was back from
his injury in his left foot, Yomiuri Shimbun dated April 4, 1939, says, “His comeback delighted the Giants’ fans so much and gave him an unexpected clap and cheers when his name was called in the lineup,” which helps me
realize anew how popular he was.
According to the official report, he was killed in the Imphal operations in Burma in 1944. His remains,
however, were not retrieved, due to a rumor that he died of disease contracted at the front. It is also said
that he killed himself with a hand grenade. In turning pages of aseball magazines, I happened to come across
his literary remains in the May 1, 1942 issue of yakyukai. It was entitled, “ A recollection of five-year seasons of pro baseball life ~ at the time of going to a new world with pride.” Going to a new world apparently means fighting at the front.
“For five full years I have spent my life in this world, burning with youthful ardor, but nothing stirs in the
bottom of my heart, only a vague expression ‘something like a dream’ spreads like a mist.” His writing ends
with, “Now with a fond memory I am going to leave the dear baseball world to which I fiercely devoted my
youthful ardor.” For the first time I heard his living voices.
At the baseball library I was fortunate enough to meet Shigeru Chiba, former great second baseman of the Giants, which he joined with Yoshihara in the same year. In his memory, Yoshihara was always full of vigor, leading his teammates with a loud raucous voice, reminiscent of the brisk playing of catcher Atsushi Furuta of
the Yakult Swallows. “Undoubtedly he was the greatest catcher the Giants ever produced. As a man he was
fascinating indeed as is shown by his widely reported romance with actress Mieko Takamine.” Helped by a lot of people and materials, I published his biography entitled, “The Greatest Catcher of the Giants” in 2005 from Shobun-sha. (N.B. This book is available at the Baseball Library.)
Yoshihara was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978 by the Special Selection Committee. His plaque is
now hung at the Baseball Hall of Fame together with those of four other 1978 Hall of Famers. The legendary
fighter is aptly represented by his head in relief, with his sharp, masculine face, wearing a cap backwards.
Sometimes I take a stroll along the Hall of Fame. Every time I see plaques of those Hall of Famers who were
killed at the front ~ Eiji Sawamura (Giants), Masaru Kageura (Tigers), and Miyoshi Nakagawa (Black Eagles),
for example ~ I think of the cruelty of the war which took the lives of talented young player, recalling at the same
time the remark made by Tetsuharu Kawakami at my interview with him. “How I wish he had come back safe
and sound from the front and lived to see the aseball we played together in pre-war days prospering with such
an undreamed-of success. All the people you mentioned were pioneering leaders. We must not forget that we owe
what we are now to these pioneers.”
August 15 is the anniversary of the end of the World War II. With various exhibits and materials in the Baseball
Museum, it will be a good opportunity for us to consider again the misery of war and invaluableness of peace
from a viewpoint of baseball.
p.6 Library News “Asahi Sports” Taku Chinone, Co-librarian
“Asahi Sports” was first published in March, 1923 by Asahi Shimbun. (The president was Ryuhei Murayama.) The inaugural issue has 32 pages, 37cm by 26cm, with many photogravures. It was continued to be published semi-monthly until June, 1943. After the last war, it resumed in January, 1948, as
a weekly until October, 1954 when it started to be published semi-monthly again. The last issue was issued
in January, 1956.
“The Life of Ryuhei Murayama,” (Asahi Shimbun, 1953) tells how it came to be published. “Publication of
an athletic magazine was projected to meet the demand of the general public. …people’s interest in athletics
has been admittedly low. Asahi Shimbun has long used part of its pages to sports in general, not only
athletics, but martial arts, sumo, and others, but we decided it was high time to publish Asahi Sport, a
magazine specialized in sport, to improve the people’s interest and knowledge in sports” For this purpose,
Asahi Shimbun abolished a small section attached to the city department, and newly established sports
department in Osaka Asahi Shimbun, and sports section in Tokyo Asahi Shimbun, to cover and edit sports
news for both the newspaper and the magazine.
From the start, Asahi Sports published a supplement to report the results of athletic sports in general. For
example, the first issue’s supplement, in B5 size with 9 pages of type printing, carries the results of 10
sports: baseball, tennis, track and field, soccer, regatta, basketball, ski, hockey, martial arts and table tennis.
The supplements available at our Baseball Library are those from the beginning until 1940.
The magazine is valuable because it published a special issue at the time of the annual National Middle
(now high) School Baseball Championship, and the Tokyo Big6 University Baseball League in spring and
fall. The oldest issue available at our Baseball Library is the one published on September 1, 1923 and covers the 9th NMSBC, depicting the drawing and the welcome tea party for participating players which
were held preceding the opening day. An aerial photo of Naruo Stadium, and those of players in action and the stands filled with cheering spectators show vividly the atmosphere of the tournament.
Our Baseball Library has almost all issues of Asahi Sports. They are very useful in researching the results
of sports in general held in pre-war days.
p.7 A Topics from Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
(May 2011 through July 2011)
1) May 20
Choji Murata, 2005 Hall of Famer, visited the Baseball Museum to be
interviewed by Maya Kobayashi for her popular TV program on reading
books. The filming was done at the reception room and Hall of Fame.
The program went on air on June 17 and 24.
2) May 20
The Pivotviewer for Hall of Famers, which was originally set up at the
was newly set up at the Baseball Hall of Fame with
a 46-inch touch panel, which was
further upgraded on July 23.
Photos of all the 173 Hall of Famers now can be seen on
screen. Please try out on the legendary pitcher Sawamura.
3) July 3
Reiichi Matsunaga, 2007 Hall of Famer, visited the Baseball Museum to
see the exhibition in celebration of the 60th All-Japan University Baseball Championship.
As manager of Hosei University, he won the 17th AJUBC.
B Extra Exhibition on Women’s Baseball
From last October, Women’s Baseball Corner has been set up to commemorate
Team Japan’s second consecutive victory at the fourth IBAF Women’s
Cup in 2010, a wonderful
feat equal to Team Japan’s victory
at Women’s Soccer
World Cup in July, 2011. This corner is a showcase of
women’s baseball, amateur and pro, in Japan. On July 3, 2011,
the first members of Team Japan who are to participate in the fourth
IBAF Women’s Baseball
Cup were announced. They are strongly
expected to clinch the third consecutive victory in
2012 in Canada.
C News from the Baseball Museum
- The board of directors and councilors of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum met with the attendance of 36 of them at Tokyo Dome Hotel at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 13, and approved the following items on the agenda:
1) reports on activities and statement of accounts for 2010; auditor’s certificate for 2010, 2) setting of a committee for selecting councilors, 3) partial
amendment of the rules of supporting members of the BHFM.
2. Change in officials
On behalf of Norihito Nishiwaki, Ryohei Sato, representative of the Chunichi Dragons, took office as a councilor.
3. Change in the staff
On behalf of retiring Mitsumasa Kaihoku, Natsuki Nakamoto (b.7.14.1959)
took office as director of administration as of July 1. Graduating from the
Department of Humanities and Sciences of Nihon University, he entered
Korakuen Stadium (now Tokyo Dome) Inc. in 1984. He had worked at
souvenir & sales, safety control, and personnel sections. He played baseball
in his high school days and recently has taken it up again as a member of
team under an organization named Masters Koshien.
4. Guide to the Baseball Museum
The entrance is 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.
Hours are liable to change due to power shortage.
Admission: 500yen ( 300yen *) Adults
200yen (150yen *) Elementary and junior high school students
(* Per person in a group of 20 or more)
300yen Senior citizens (aged 65 or more)
Closed: Mondays except those 1) during the spring and summer school vacations
2) that fall on National Holidays
3) when a pro baseball game is played at Tokyo Dome
and the New Year holidays (December 29 through January 1)
In other words, from August to October, the museum will be closed on:
August (None); September 5, 12 and 26; October 3, 17, 24 and 31
Editor’s Note Due to the 3.11 big disaster, Tokyo Dome will not host the Inter-City
Baseball Tournament in coming August and September. Instead it will
be held at Kyocera Dome Osaka starting on October 22.
p.8 Essay (45) Potential power of baseball Yoshihiro Ando, Asahi Shimbun
Director of the Players Selection Committee
On May 21, more than two months after the great East Japan big earthquake, noted players of former days visited disaster-stricken Miyagi Prefecture. Some 350 elementary and junior high school students in the suffering areas attended a baseball lesson given by members of the Golden Players Club. The
young players with serious expressions listened to the lecture under the bright May sky.
The event began with a greeting by Sadaharu Oh (71), chief director of GPC. “I heartily sympathize
with you in the hard conditions, but don’t give up easily. Please cooperate with each other and work
your way step by step.” He was accompanied by Isao Harimoto (70), Isao Shibata (67), Koji Yamamoto
(64), Keishi Suzuki (63). Hiroyuki Yamazaki (64), Taira Fujita (63), Tsutomu Wakamatsu (64), Manabu
Kitabeppu (53) and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (41). It was a great joy, not only to young players but to their
elders, to see and talk with those former distinguished players in the uniforms of their active days,
It was at the charity game on April 2 preceding the season that Motohiro Shima, Tohoku Rakuten Eagles
and president of the Players’ Association declared, “We’ll show potential power of baseball.” It is clear
that baseball has the power to eclipse, though temporarily, the painful experiences and hard days. It is
still fresh in our memory that in 1995, when a severe earthquake hit Osaka and Kobe, the Orix
BlueWave, with a catchword, “GANBARO KOBE,” won the pennant in the Pacific League. The late
Akira Ohgi recalled later, “Judging from the ability of the players, it was quite impossible to win. A
certain player had to join the camp leaving their family waterless due to the earthquake. Concentration
was lacking in the team and the preparation of the players were far behind. What drove us to a
surprisingly great success after the season set in was a sense of unity born of the catchword. All the
players shared the feeling that they were striving to help rebuild Kobe by their play. The team was not
simply a pro baseball club, but Kobe itself, as it were.” (N.B. Ohgi was then manager of the team.)
It was also baseball that lighted a lamp of hope to the devastated Japan after the last war. On November
18, 1945, only three months after the broadcasting of the Showa Emperor’s announcement of Japan’s
surrender, a baseball game between All-Waseda and All-Keio was held at Jingu Stadium, which had
been taken back over by the occupation army and renamed Stateside Park. All the players were lacking in
exercise and a lot of errors were committed, but the spectators were overjoyed to see a traditional game
and savored the happiness of having peace again. Yoichi Aida, who had worked hard to hold the game as
Waseda’s manager, told me once with feeling, “Spectators of 45,000 would not leave the stadium even
after the game was over and the evening was drawing in. In the gloomy stands, lights of cigarettes looked
like so many lightning bugs and were very impressive.”
Tohoku district along the coast of the Pacific was devastated by the big earthquake and terrible accident
at Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant has been casting a dark shadow over reconstruction work.
Precisely for this reason, we must encourage and support enduringly the people in devastated areas.
A large scale event is not necessarily case in point. Any active player can go there in the off-season and
encourage local boys’ baseball teams. Hopefully such a small activity lasts as long as possible. I still
remember the young boys under instruction by GPC members answering in a lively voice, “Yes, sir!”
They were somehow intense but radiant in their faces. It was also wonderful to see their elders watching
them with a smile. It will be marvelous if there are more people, even one indeed, who will be able to
say in 10 or 20 years hence, “Baseball helped me do my best.” It remains to be seen whether “potentiality
of baseball” proves effective.