The media in Japan (Daily Sports, Nikkan Sports, Sanspo) is reporting the death of the great former Yomiuri Giant, Wallace Kaname Yonamine. According to the reports, Mr. Yonamine passed away in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 28th, 2011 after battling prostate cancer. He was 85.
MVP - 1957
Leading Hitter - 1954, 1956 - 1957
Best Nine - 1952 - 1958
All-Star Game - 1952 - 1959
Japan HoF - 1994
Comments from various former players (from the Sanspo report):
Sadaharu Oh - "The first autograph I got when I visited Korakuen Stadium when I was an elementary school kid was Yonamine-san's. You could say that he was my mentor for every facet of the game of baseball when I turned pro. He was a very gentle man and to have to part ways like this is really disappointing."
Shigeo Nagashima - "I recently heard he wasn't doing very well and I was praying for him to make a full recovery. I was shocked to hear this sudden news. He provided me with a lot of inspiration through his aggressive style of play. He was also a mentor that made me think of baseball as a combat sport with his violent slides on the base paths. I relied on him as a coach to help bring an aggressive style of play to the younger players during my years as manager. I pray that he finds happiness on the other side."
Senichi Hoshino - "I've known him since his years as an active player. He really helped me out a lot. I remember him as being a manager that did a great job of mixing US and Japanese styles of baseball. I heard he wasn't feeling well, but this is really sad. I pray he finds happiness."
Hiromitsu Ochiai - "Another great baseball legend, that did so much for baseball, has passed. I am extremely sad. I pray that he finds happiness."
Ryozo Kato - "He helped change Japanese baseball. His aggressive style of sliding into bases is just one portion. His offensive abilities are still vivid in my mind. He had a great career and deserves the truest of blessings."