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Katsuya Nomura - (1935-2020) Greatest Catcher, leading Slugger of the Japanese game

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  • Katsuya Nomura - (1935-2020) Greatest Catcher, leading Slugger of the Japanese game

    The greatest catcher in the history of Japanese Baseball, Katsuya Nomura passed away this week a little shy of his 85th birthday age. Nomura died on Tuesday, February 11th.
    He spent the first 23 of his 26 seasons in the Japanese major leagues with the Nankai Hawks, with his career covering parts of four decades (1954; 1956-1980).
    He set the iron man record for games played at catcher. Nomura played 2,921 games at catcher. (by contrast the record for games at catcher in the American major leagues is almost 500 games less as Ivan Rodriguez holds the American record of 2,427 games at catcher).
    Nomura was a great slugger, belting 657 home runs, with 1,988 RBI. He had 5,315 Total Bases and had 2,901 hits for a .277 batting average in 3,017 total games. he appeared in only 96 games where he didn't play the catcher position.
    Nomura had ten 30 home runs-seasons and had his peak home run season in 1963 when he smashed 52 home runs.
    Last edited by 1954 Phils; 02-18-2020, 08:24 AM.

  • #2
    RIP.

    It's a shame that he won't live to see Cooperstown induct him (as they should).
    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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    • #3
      Nomura's 657 home runs is second all time in the NPB.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
        Nomura's 657 home runs is second all time in the NPB.
        Nomura is second in HR, RBI and games played (3,017 games) in Japanese baseball history. Also his 2,921 games at Catcher is probably one of the sport's (both Japanese and American major leagues) is one stat that is one of the game's most unbreakable records.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
          RIP.

          It's a shame that he won't live to see Cooperstown induct him (as they should).
          I agree. Tough to deny that career. Nomura, Nagashima and Oh are kind of a consensus top 3 like Gibson, Lloyd and Charleston.
          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post

            I agree. Tough to deny that career. Nomura, Nagashima and Oh are kind of a consensus top 3 like Gibson, Lloyd and Charleston.
            I'm with Jim. I am hoping that Ichiro's induction in 2025 will lead to Sadaharu Oh being inducted at some point thereafter (hopefully within Oh's lifetime as Oh is about to turn 80 this May).
            "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
            "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
            "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

            Comment


            • #7
              The Baseball Hall of Fame cannot elect NPB players. There is no mechanism within their rules to allow it. They could change their rules but there is no great call to elect NPB players.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #8
                If the HOF would allow Japanese League players to be elected to Cooperstown here's the charter members I would induct.

                Sadaharu Oh 868 HR (record holder); #3 all-time in Hits.
                Isao Harimoto 3,085 Hits (record holder) .319 career batting average.
                Victor Starfin 311 Career Wins (Early Japanese Leagues player: career ended in 1955.)
                Yutaka 'Fukumoto 1,065 Stolen Bases (record holder).
                Yoshinori Hirose #2 in Career SB. with 596 SB. Hit .366 in 1964.
                Katsuya Nomura 657 HR ranks #2 in Career HR. His 3,011 games played is a record as is his 2,917 games at catcher. His 2,901 Hits ranks #2 in Career Hits.
                Sachio Kinugasa. Most Consecutive Games in Japanese Leagues. The Ironman Of Japan. More consecutive games than Lou Gehrig, but topped by Cal Ripken jr. .
                Masachi Kaneda 400-298 lifetime. 400 Wins (record holder). 4,490 Strikeouts (record holder).. 14 Consecurive 20-win seasons (1951-1964): also a record.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1954 Phils View Post
                  If the HOF would allow Japanese League players to be elected to Cooperstown here's the charter members I would induct.

                  Sadaharu Oh 868 HR (record holder); #3 all-time in Hits.
                  Isao Harimoto 3,085 Hits (record holder) .319 career batting average.
                  Victor Starfin 311 Career Wins (Early Japanese Leagues player: career ended in 1955.)
                  Yutaka Fukumoto 1,065 Stolen Bases (record holder).
                  Yoshinori Hirose #2 in Career SB. with 596 SB. Hit .366 in 1964.
                  Katsuya Nomura 657 HR ranks #2 in Career HR. His 3,011 games played is a record as is his 2,917 games at catcher. His 2,901 Hits ranks #2 in Career Hits.
                  Sachio Kinugasa Most Consecutive Games in Japanese Leagues. The Ironman Of Japan. More consecutive games than Lou Gehrig, but topped by Cal Ripken jr. .
                  Masachi Kaneda 400-298 lifetime. 400 Wins (record holder). 4,490 Strikeouts (record holder).. 14 Consecurive 20-win seasons (1951-1964): also a record.
                  Never heard of these two. The other six are definitely the standouts and I'm assuming you forgot Nagashima. Shame he never signed with the Dodgers. I'd have to think Hiromitsu Ochai and Kaz Inao and Takehiko Bessho are close to these guys territory too.

                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  The Baseball Hall of Fame cannot elect NPB players. There is no mechanism within their rules to allow it. They could change their rules but there is no great call to elect NPB players.
                  Right, you had to have played in America, correct?
                  Last edited by bluesky5; 03-14-2020, 10:09 PM.
                  "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Kinugasa played with injuries as serious as a broken shoulder. He wasn't very productive with those injuries, though. Maybe his teams were bad enough that he was still the better choice, but I think there's little doubt his overall stats would look better had he stayed out instead of playing with injuries that seriously limited his production. Hirose belongs in Japan's HOF, but at 60th in my rankings, I don't think he'd make Cooperstown, though he would move up in the majors since his game didn't rely on power and thus like Ichiro he would retain more of his NPB value.
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post

                      Never heard of these two. The other six are definitely the standouts and I'm assuming you forgot Nagashima. Shame he never signed with the Dodgers. I'd have to think Hiromitsu Ochai and Kaz Inao and Takehiko Bessho are close to these guys territory too.



                      Right, you had to have played in America, correct?
                      No I didn't use that as a PREREQUISITE.

                      Yes, Nagashima was an obvious omission, both as a power hitting third baseman and as an inspirational manager.
                      Last edited by 1954 Phils; 03-21-2020, 01:00 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 1954 Phils View Post
                        No I didn't use that as a PREREQUISITE.

                        Yes, Nagashima was an obvious omission, both as a power hitting third baseman and as an inspirational manager.
                        Don't know what you mean?

                        "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                        Comment

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