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NPB: An interesting fact on Shigeo Nagashima

by on Jul.12, 2008 @ 10:36 am, under NPB

I was just watching TV and happened upon a program that was discussing the different records that Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima broke with the Yomiuri Giants.

In looking at the list, there were four entries under Shigeo Nagashima that caught my eye.

But before I get to that, I'd like to quickly explain who Nagashima is for those who aren't very familiar with him.

Nagashima was the star Yomiuri Giants third baseman between 1958 and 1974. Together with Oh, they became one of the deadliest 3 / 4 hitters in the history of Japanese baseball and earned the nickname "O-N Hou", or the "Oh-Nagashima Canon" (akin to the "M&M Boys" given to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle).

Nagashima won 6 batting titles, 2 homerun titles, led the league in RBIs 5 times, and earned MVP honors 5 times. He also grabbed 2 gold gloves with his flashy play on the field and earned trips to the All-Star game 17 times.

His career stats follow below:

Code:
YEAR  GMS  AB   R    H   2B  3B  HR  TB   RBI  SB  SH  SF  BB  IBB  HBP  SO  GIDP  AVG   SLG
================================================================================================
1958  130  502  89  153  34  8   29  290  92   37  1   6   36  15    5   53   3    .305  .578
1959  124  449  88  150  32  6   27  275  82   21  0   3   70  17    4   40   9    .334  .612
1960  126  452  71  151  22  12  16  245  64   31  0   2   70  32    0   28   8    .334  .542
1961  130  448  84  158  32  9   28  292  86   14  1   5   88  35    1   34   14   .353  .652
1962  134  525  69  151  38  5   25  274  80   18  0   3   51  7     5   61   14   .288  .522
================================================================================================
1963  134  478  99  163  28  6   37  314  112  16  0   10  86  18    3   30   14   .341  .657
1964  133  459  81  144  19  6   31  268  90   13  0   6   96  15    5   34   8    .314  .584
1965  131  503  70  151  23  5   17  235  80   2   0   5   50  12    2   42   16   .300  .467
1966  128  474  83  163  31  3   26  278  105  14  0   8   58  14    3   39   17   .344  .586
1967  122  474  65  134  25  3   19  222  77   2   0   3   37  4     1   37   24   .283  .468
================================================================================================
1968  131  494  80  157  21  4   39  303  125  8   1   5   66  12    3   74   19   .318  .613
1969  126  502  71  156  23  2   32  279  115  1   0   4   38  1     2   58   5    .311  .556
1970  127  476  56  128  22  2   22  220  105  1   0   9   40  1     0   52   15   .269  .462
1971  130  485  84  155  21  2   34  282  86   4   0   1   59  8     2   45   20   .320  .581
1972  125  448  64  119  17  0   27  217  92   3   0   8   63  11    1   34   23   .266  .484
================================================================================================
1973  127  483  60  130  14  0   20  204  76   3   1   8   37  3     1   35   20   .269  .422
1974  128  442  56  108  16  1   15  171  55   2   1   4   24  0     5   33   18   .244  .387
================================================================================================
      2186      1270     418     444      1522     5       969       43       257        .540
           8094     2471     74      4369      190     90      205       729       .305

Ok, so now that's out of the way, let me get back to theoriginal topic at hand...

So there were four entries on the list under Nagashima's name that took me off-guard. I don't remember the exact wording, but I think this is pretty close:

Quote:

バット持たず打席に立った

Can't read that? Oh, right, Japanese. Allow me to translate that for you:

Quote:

Stepped into the batter's box without a bat.

No, there's nothing wrong with the translation. Nagashima actually stepped into the batter's box on 4 occasions without a bat (actually, there are some sources that mention 5 occasions).

WHY?

Apparently because he was tired of getting walked all the time.

I don't have much information on when these happened, except for 3 occasions (source: 1, 2).

8/1/1963 vs Hanshin, against an unknown pitcher, in an unknown situation. Result: unkown
5/11/1968 vs Chunichi, against Tatsumi Yamanaka, 9th inning, runner on second with 2 out. Result: Intentional walk
6/17/1971 vs Hiroshima, against an unkown pitcher, tie score, 7th inning, runner on third, 2 out. Result: Intentional walk

So in two of these occasions, the opposing pitcher still walked Nagashima despite the fact that he wasn't holding a bat. Could such a thing ever happen in the Majors?

He was so upset with the fact that pitchers were walking him intentionally, that he protested their decisions by standing in the batter's box without a bat. Now that's an interesting way to protest an intentional walk.

Could you imagine Bonds doing that?

Incidentally, for those wondering, there was also an occasion where he drilled an IBB pitch to left in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and runners on second and third to win the game.

0 comments on “NPB: An interesting fact on Shigeo Nagashima

  1. Gwynar

    The thing that surprises me is that he was able to get away with it on at least 4 different occasions and in at least 2 of those 4 occasions still got walked.

    But the Giants fans loved Nagashima so much that, my guess, is he couldn’t do anything wrong. In fact, most fans might consider what he did as something honorable because it was out of the spirit of extreme competition.

  2. thebishop

    That’s pretty cool to read. I’ve just started looking into Japanese baseball more closely (as I’ve included a few guys into my Jays franchise), found some interesting guys that you’d never hear of on this side of the lake.

  3. Gwynar

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get more of you interested in the NPB. I was hoping to provide more updates this season, but unfortunately haven’t been able to. I’ll try to get back on a more regular schedule.

  4. Gwynar
    Quote:

    Speaking of the NPB, we just added Romash Tasuku Dass to the CL.

    Cool. What kind of ratings does he have?

  5. knucklehead7

    He has a 7(out of 10) in stuff, movement, and control, but his potential is a little bit higher so he has room to grow yet. He just signed with the Indians!

  6. Gwynar

    For those wondering about how Romash Tasuku Dass is doing this year… He’s only had one start with the parent club. He’s spent the rest of his time in the minors.

    Code:
    G  W  L  IP  BF   H   HR  BB  IBB  HBP  SO  WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
    7  2  4  34  163  36  2   24   0    6   11  0   0   20  19  5.03

    So far, not a very good start to his career.

    And just in case:

    Born: 12/15/1988 (Indian father and Japanese mother)
    Birthplace: Nara Prefecture
    Height: 191cm (or roughly 6’3")
    Weight: 78kg (172 pounds)
    Pitches: Fastball, shuto, fork, slider, change
    Clocked: ~145km/h (90 mph)
    Throws: Right
    Hits: Right
    Drafted: 4th round
    Nickname: The Wailing / Crying Prince