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  • Japanese baseball info

    I'm redoing this thread, since the first time I hadn't thought it through too well. All that I intend to change is the organization of the first few posts, so folks don't have to poke around so much to find things. As before, I'm willing to answer questions to the best of my ability here.

    Jim Albright
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  • #2
    Resources


    Best books:

    Baseball's Other Stars by William McNeil (many countries discussed, but Japan has a chapter)

    You Gotta Have Wa by Robert Whiting (Japan)

    The Meaning of Ichiro by Robert Whiting (Japan)

    The Chrysanthemum and the Bat by Robert Whiting (Japan)

    Remembering Japanese Baseball by Robert Fitts

    Japanese Baseball Superstars by Robert Fitts and Gary Engel


    BBF HOF threads:

    Sadaharu Oh

    Japanese greats pics


    Threads outside BBF other than BaseballGuru.com

    English version of Official Site of Japanese Baseball HOF

    JapaneseBaseball.com--a great discussion site run by Michael Westbay

    Several databases of Japanese stats downloadable from japanesebaseball.com

    Data on significant players active from 2002 onward with some others thrown in The data for these players is in standard encyclopedia form and covers the careers through the last completed season of the players listed.

    Significant retired player data and a lot more

    News, Commentary and a lot more
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-16-2008, 09:15 AM.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

    Comment


    • #3
      Now I've got to plug my other online "home", BaseballGuru.com It's where I've posted quite a few articles on the history of Japanese baseball. I've also put data up there and contributed to a primer about Japanese baseball which resides there.

      The Japanese baseball Primer

      The Japanese Insider, with links to work by John Holway, Gary Garland and myself on Japanese baseball

      The "InfoLinks" , which indexes my writings for BaseballGuru.com in extreme detail

      My "home page" at BaseballGuru.com


      The next post will give links to some of my writings on some of the best players and managers in Japanese baseball

      Links to targeted writings on quality of top Japanese players plus thumbnail sketches of same:

      Sadaharu Oh

      Links to everything I've written about Oh at BaseballGuru.com

      part 1 of my review of his case for Cooperstown

      my major league equivalent for Oh's career (in part 2 of my review of his case for Cooperstown)

      season by season projection of his major league equivalents

      comparison of Oh to his contemporaries in the majors and to first ballot HOFers

      comparison of Oh to candidates who made the top ten in BBWAA voting but not Cooperstown

      comparison of Oh's best years to major league players in the same years


      Katsuya Nomura

      Links to everything I've written about Nomura in BaseballGuru.com

      my major league equivalent for Nomura

      comparison of Nomura to major league catchers of the 1960's


      Shigeo Nagashima

      Links to everything I've written about Nagashima for BaseballGuru.com

      major league equivalent for Nagashima

      Nagashima compared to top major league third basemen

      major league equivalents of Nagashima's best seasons compared to major leaguers in those years


      Isao Harimoto

      Links to everything I've written about Harimoto for BaseballGuru.com

      major league equivalent for Harimoto

      comparison of his major league equivalent on a career basis

      comparison of his major league equivalents for his best seasons


      Masaichi Kaneda

      Links to everything I've written about Kaneda for BaseballGuru.com

      major league equivalent for Kaneda

      comparison of his major league equivalent on a career basis


      Victor Starffin

      Links to everything I've written for BaseballGuru.com about Starffin

      major league equivalent for Starffin

      comparison of his major league equivalent on a career basis
      .

      Kazuhisa Inao

      Links to everything I've written about Inao for BaseballGuru.com

      major league equivalent for Inao

      comparison of his major league equivalent on a career basis


      Koji Yamamoto

      Links to everything I've written about Yamamoto for BaseballGuru.com


      Akira (aka Takehiko) Bessho

      Links to everything I've written about Bessho for BaseballGuru.com


      Now for some information on some top Japanese Managers (as managers):

      Tetsuaharu Kawakami

      Links to everything I've written about Kawakami the manager for BaseballGuru.com

      Kazuto Tsuruoka aka Kazuto Yamamoto

      Links to everything I've written about Tsuruoka/Yamamoto the manager for BaseballGuru.com

      Shigeru Mizuhara

      Links to everything I've written about Mizuhara the manager for BaseballGuru.com
      Last edited by jalbright; 08-27-2006, 01:12 PM.
      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

      Comment


      • #4
        Some articles from my work at BaseballGuru.com:

        Ranking of players based on play in Japan

        Who Else From NPB Might Be Worthy of Cooperstown?

        Further Examination of Qualifications of NPB Stars for Cooperstown

        MAJOR LEAGUE EQUIVALENTS OF NPB COOPERSTOWN CANDIDATES' TOP SEASONS

        I've also done annual articles on my major league equivalents for Japanese players who might make the move to the majors
        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

        Comment


        • #5
          Expert selections of Japanese League all-time teams

          -----------------------------------------------------------------------

          Please note all these selections come from William McNeil's fine book, Baseball's Other Stars
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------

          William McNeil

          Team #1: Katsuya Nomura (C), Koichi Tabuchi (C), Sadaharu Oh (1B), Tetsuharu Kawakami (1B), Morimichi Takagi (2B), Shigeru Chiba (2B), Yoshio Yoshida (SS), Yasumitsu Toyoda (SS), Shigeo Nagashima (3B), Futoshi Nakanishi (3B), Isao Harimoto (OF), Koji Yamamoto (OF), Hiromitsu Ochiai (OF) [/[I have no idea why he did this other than to get Ochiai on the team, because the official Japanese encyclopedia shows Ochiai played 1B, 3B, 2B and DH--and that's it--JA], Hiroshi Oshita (OF), Yutaka Fukumoto (OF), Hiromitsu Kadota (OF), Tstomu Wakamatsu (UT), Sachio Kinugasa (UT), Masaichi Kaneda (P), Tetsuya Yoneda (P), Keishi Suzuki (P), Victor Starffin (P), Kazuhisa Inao (P), Takehiko Bessho (P), and Yutaka Enatsu (P)

          Team #2: Masaaki Mori (C), Takeshi Doigaki (C), Katsuo Osugi (1B), Kihachi Enomoto (1B), Yutaka Takagi (2B), Toshio Shinozuka (2B), Yoshihiko Takahashi (SS). Takehiro Ikeyama (SS), Masayuki Kakefu (3B), Fumio Fujimura (3B), Kazuhiro Yamauchi (OF), Wally Yonamine (OF), Kenichi Yazawa (OF), Masahiro Doi (OF), Yoshinori Hirose (OF), Shinichi Eto (OF), Michio Nishizawa (UT), LeRon Lee (UT), Masaaki Koyama (P), Hisashi Yamada (P), Minoru Murayama (P), Shigeru Sugishita (P), Tadashi Wakabayashi (P), Jiro Noguchi (P), Hideo Fujimoto (P)

          -------------------------------------------------------------------

          Dan Johnson Please note he concentrated on players retired as of the time he made his selections. He also concentrated on players with long, distinguished careers

          Catcher: Katsuya Nomura, Koichi Tabuchi
          First Base: Sadaharu Oh, Tetsuharu Kawakami
          Second Base: Morimichi Takagi, Shigeru Chiba
          Third Base: Shigeo Nagashima, Futoshi Nakanishi
          Shortstop: Yoshio Yoshida, Yasumitsu Toyoda
          Outfield: Isao Harimoto, Yutaka Fukumoto, Koji Yamamoto, Hiroshi Oshita, Kazuhiro Yamauchi, Wally Yonamine
          Pitchers: Kazuhisa Inao, Masaichi Kaneda, Minoru Murayama, Hisashi Yamada, Yutaka Enatsu, Takehiko Bessho, Keishi Suzuki
          Utility: Hiromitsu Ochiai, Sachio Kinugasa

          -------------------------------------------------------------------

          Japanese baseball historian Fumio Fujisawa:

          Catcher: Katsuya Nomura, Masaaki Mori
          First Base: Sadaharu Oh, Hiromitsu Ochiai
          Second Base: Morimichi Takagi, Shigeru Chiba
          Third Base: Shigeo Nagashima, Futoshi Nakanishi
          Shortstop: Yoshio Yoshida, Tatsuro Hirooka
          Outfield: Isao Harimoto, Koji Yamamoto, Yutaka Fukumoto, Kazuhiro Yamauchi, Tokuji Nagaike, Ichiro Suzuki
          Pitchers: Masaichi Kaneda, Kazuhisa Inao, Takehiko Bessho, Shigeru Sugishita, Masaaki Koyama, Hisashi Yamada, Yutaka Enatsu

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          As a bonus, we'll include McNeil's "All World All Star Team--Non Major League"

          Guys from Japan will appear in red. The remainder became famous in the American Negro Leagues or in leagues in the Caribbean basin, and almost all of them had too much melanin (dark skin) for the major league color bar. Players with an asterisk (*) are his choices as starters.

          Catcher: Josh Gibson*, Katsuya Nomura, Louis Santop, Koichi Tabuchi

          First Base: Sadaharu Oh*, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Hector Espino, Alonzo Perry, Buck Leonard, Julian Castillo, Mule Suttles

          Second Base: Martin Dihigo*, Morimichi Takagi, Bill Monroe, Sammy T. Hughes, Manuel Cueto

          Shortstop: Pop Lloyd*, Yoshio Yoshida, Dobie Moore, Perucho Cepeda, Silvio Garcia, Willie Wells

          Third Base: Shigeo Nagashima*, Canena Marquez, Oliver Marcelle, Ray Dandridge, Judy Johnson

          Outfield: Oscar Charleston*, Cristobal Torriente*, Francisco Coimbre*, Turkey Stearnes, Bernardo Baro, Yutaka Fukumoto, Chino Smith, Koji Yamamoto, Tetelo Vargas, Cool Papa Bell, Willard Brown, Isao Harimoto, Bob Thurman, Alejandro Oms, Andres Mora

          Pitcher: Satchel Paige*, Bullet Joe Rogan, Jose Mendez, Masaichi Kaneda, Dolf Luque, Alfredo Ortiz, Eusatquio Pedroso, Luis Padron, Smokey Joe Williams, Willie Foster, Dick Redding, Ramon Arano, Diomedes Olivo, Tetsuya Yoneda, Yutaka Enatsu

          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          If anyone wants to compare these expert Japanese picks to mine, please see this page: http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/an...lbright03.html
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here's my choices for the most similar major leaguer based on career records to some Japanese players I think are HOF caliber with comments:

            Sadaharu Oh=Willie McCovey with 700 more walks in his career! They are contemporary players.

            Katsuya Nomura=Gary Carter's stats extended by 1300 more AB--and done mostly in the 1960's! Carter probably rates an edge against base stealers, but I'd think Nomura could otherwise hold his own against Carter defensively. The best catcher in all of baseball IMO in the period 1960-1968. His projection meets 61 of Bill James' HOF standards (50 is average).

            Shigeo Nagashima=Ron Santo like stats, but in a neutral park. Nagashima's defense is also at least as good. Played at roughly the same time as Santo. His projection meets 57 of Bill James' HOF Standards.

            Isao Harimoto=Paul Molitor's stats with 60 more career homers, but 10 less points of average, if Paul played left field his whole career--in the 1960's. His projection meets 58 of Bill James' HOF Standards.

            Masaichi Kaneda=Steve Carlton, but with more wins and ten years earlier. His projection meets 76 of Bill James' HOF Standards.

            Victor Starffin=Joe McGinnity. Starffin's projected record of 308-143 is much better than McGinnity's actual record of 246-142, but I wanted to go with a comparatively low strikeout deadball-era pitcher. His projection meets 68 of Bill James' HOF Standards.

            Kazuhisa Inao=Juan Marichal--and they played about the same time. His projection meets 67 of Bill James' HOF Standards.

            I did consider left hand/right hand issue and the era played, in adjusting from what I found to be the most similar guys to the projections, but certainly not style. Oh's batting style is much more like Mel Ott's than anybody else in the majors I can think of, for instance. I'm really addressing productivity issues in my most similar selections above.
            Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
            Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
            A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
              Jim,

              Did Alfonso Soriano play in the Japanese major leagues or did he come over here while still in the Japanese minor leagues.
              He played a small amount in their major leagues--17 AB per Carlos Bauer's Japanese Baseball Register. He sought arbitration and lost it--and then "retired" in Japan. The Japanese leagues thought they had closed that loophole, but they never told the majors about the change in their rules, as required under the agreement between the majors and the Japanese Leagues. After a bit of wrangling, the majors backed Soriano. That led to the posting system which is now in place for Japanese players.

              Jim Albright
              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                Jim,

                I'm trying to get LeRon Lee and Reggie Smith's Japanese seasonal stats. Can you help?

                Thanks,

                HWR
                For LeRon Lee, go to: http://www.japanbaseballdaily.com/fo...tingKai-Lyttle. and scroll about halfway down to Leron Lee. For Reggie Smith, he's listed among the Smiths as though his first name is Reggie, but his real name of Carl Reginald Smith is given along with the nickname Reggie. It's about 40% of the way down the following page: http://www.japanbaseballdaily.com/fo...Scott-Sun.html

                Japanesebaseballdaily.com has most if not all the signifcant retired players, broken into four groups: Japanese batters, foreign batters, Japanese pitchers, and foreign pitchers.

                Jim Albright
                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cubano100%
                  Can you explain me how the signing of Japaneses players work?

                  I am not familiar with the Japanese League contract rules and how MLB deal with them once a player decides to come to the USA.

                  Thanks,
                  Basically, the majors don't pursue Japanese high school or college kids. So they sign with Japanese clubs. The rules in Japan tie a player to the team for nine years with the top club before he becomes a free agent. Teams can cut players before that, of course. If a team wants to send a player stateside and get something in return, they have to do it before a guy becomes a free agent. The method is called posting. They let it be known through an approved process that so and so is available and invite bids from the majors. I understand the bids are sealed, but in any event, the high bidder gets the opportunity to sign the player to a major league contract. If such an agreement is reached, the bid price is paid to the Japanese club in addition to the contract of the player. Free agents or cut players are able to sign with major league clubs, and on occasion, a Japanese team has cut a guy who wants to go to the majors as sort of a backdoor free agency.

                  Jim Albright
                  Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                  Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                  A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Atlanta Braves Freak
                    This interesting info!

                    Compared to American baseball players, what is the salary of a Japanese baseball player?
                    I don't have that on hand. I think maybe michael westbay, the "commissioner"/webmaster of japanesebaseball.com might. You can post a message there without doing so much as giving him any info.

                    I'm sure it's less, but how much is the question. Funny thing is, many of the stars who come over take a pay cut to do it.

                    Jim Albright
                    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by baseball_in_hel*
                      jalbright, Did Ichiro ever play in either of the japanese leagues??

                      Thanks
                      Another reader beat me to the answer:

                      Originally posted by Redondos
                      Ichiro played for the Orix BlueWave (Pacific League) from 1992 to 2000.
                      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kckid2599
                        How are American players treated when they play in Japan?
                        Read Robert Whiting's You Gotta Have Wa and/or Robert Fitts' Remembering Japanese Baseball for the best answers. My summary is this: a lot of it has to do with the attitude the American goes there with and how well he produces. If he produces great numbers, he's generally well treated absent a really bad attitude. If he's good and has an attitude which is appreciated by the Japanese, he's generally well treated. If he doesn't produce, he's trashed because he's getting a lot of money. When the attitude isn't good enough for the production he brings, it's often trouble.

                        Jim Albright
                        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Now I've finished my housekeeping, and can answer questions again.

                          Originally posted by bkmckenna
                          Mr. Albright,

                          Are there sources in English that discuss historical issues of events both on and off the field that shaped the Japanese game? Things about:
                          -league officials
                          -management of the league
                          -scandals
                          -rule changes and reasons behind such
                          -year to year happenings in the narrative
                          -things that may be carried in such American books as the Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball or the Baseball Timeline or maybe Koppett's Concise History of MLB

                          I've seen most of the books that are out. How is the internet progressing in this area and are there any new books due out?

                          Thanks
                          Japan Baseball Daily is the best source I know of for this, and Gary Garland there is pretty much focused on current events. There's a fair amount of discussion of management of the league currently at japanesebaseball.com, but again, it's focused mainly on the present day. There's not much else that I'm aware of.

                          I believe Rob Fitts is working on more interviews to follow up on Remembering Japanese Baseball, but that's about all I'm aware of being in the pipeline.

                          The language problem combined with the fact Japanese baseball management is anything but interested in informing those who speak English about their league combined with enough indifference to make books on Japanese baseball tend to be not very profitable even by the standards of the baseball book market, there's just not a lot out there.

                          The internet is better than print. Certainly, if you speak Japanese or know someone who can provide adequate translations, there's plenty out there. Even if you only speak English, there's japanesebaseball.com, japanbaseballdaily.com, Sergei Borisov's site with links to current news stories, and my own work at BaseballGuru.com to help you. But there's only a few of us willing to do this hard lifting, and we all have lives beyond our interest in Japanese baseball. I've provided links to all these sites above in this thread, BTW. Now if you don't speak English or Japanese, as far as I know, you're out of luck unless you want to trust one of those translation sites, which often yield comical results.

                          Jim Albright
                          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Players who played in both Japan and the MLB

                            anyone know where i can find a list of players that played in both Japan and the MLB?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Attached is a document which is hardly complete, but is close to complete for the following groups:

                              1) guys who pitched in both leagues;
                              2) hitters who played in Japan 1992-2001 and in the majors by 2002
                              3) hitters who played in Japan's Central League 1960-1980 and in the majors.

                              It's not a short list.
                              Attached Files
                              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                              Comment

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