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Daijiro Oishi

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Daijiro Oishi

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 6", Weight 156 lb.

Daijiro Oishi played 17 seasons for the Kintetsu Buffaloes and later became a coach and manager.

Oishi played in the Koshien Tournament twice in high school. In college, he twice was named to the Tokyo Metropolitan University League Best Nine and also set the league record for steals in a season. Kintetsu took him in the second round of the 1980 NPB draft. In 1981, Oishi hit .316/.350/.316 in 20 plate appearances spread over 77 games as a rookie. He stole 11 bases in 16 tries, being used regularly as a pinch-runner.

In 1982, Daijiro batted .274/.347/.384 with 47 steals in 59 attempts. He scored 86 runs and led the Pacific League with 23 sacrifice hits. Oishi made his first PL All-Star squad, won a Diamond Glove Award and was named PL Rookie of the Year. Oishi improved to .287/.372/.415 in 1983 with 60 steals while being caught 14 times. He led the Pacific League in stolen bases, was an All-Star, won a Diamond Glove and was named to the Best Nine as the best second baseman in the circuit.

Oishi kept it up in 1984 in Japanese Baseball with a .282/.355/.508 batting line, 46 steals in 65 tries, 97 runs and 29 home runs. He won his final Diamond Glove, set career highs in runs and home runs and led the league in runs (and also in both steals and times caught stealing). He made his third All-Star team and second Best Nine.

In 1985, Oishi hit .308/.383/.502 with 19 steals in 23 tries and 62 runs in 83 games but injured his leg breaking up a double play and missed half the season. When he returned in 1986, his production fell to .290/.334/.454 with 95 runs, 12 triples, 16 homers and 24 steals in 38 tries. He led the PL in three-baggers and made his 4th All-Star appearances. In the 1986 MLB-NPB Series, his 3 RBI tied Hiromitsu Ochiai for the lead on the Japanese side.

Oishi batted .265/.316/.357 in 1987 with only five home runs but he did swipe 41 bases in 50 tries. He made the All-Star team and led the PL in stolen bases for the third time. In 1988, his batting line was down to .252/.322/.346 and he only stole 16 bases in 25 attempts. He again led the PL in triples. Oishi hit .277/.356/.397 in 1989. He made his sixth All-Star squad. He only was 2 for 24 in the 1989 Japan Series but both of his hits were home runs. He had 21 consecutive at-bats in the Series without a hit, a record that stood until 2011, when Motonobu Tanishige broke it.

The Shizuoka native rebounded to hit .314/.378/.520 in 1990 with 93 runs, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 24 tries. He led the PL with 6 triples, his third time leading in that department, and was second to Norifumi Nishimura in batting average in the league. He made his third and final Best Nine and his 7th All-Star team. On June 26, he hit a game-winning come-from-behind game-ending grand slam off of Hideki Irabu.

Oishi fell to .268/.358/.368 in 1991 with just 12 steals in 19 attempts. In 1992, the veteran infielder batted .296/.354/.380 and swiped 39 bases in 52 tries. He led the league in times caught stealing and was one steal behind leader Makoto Sasaki. He made his 8th Pacific League All-Star team.

The 34-year-old produced at a .257/.334/.351 rate in 1993 and stole 31 bases while being caught 7 times. He made his 9th and last All-Star team and led the league in swipes for the 4th time and the first time in six years. In 1994, Oishi batted .270/.347/.347 with 11 steals in 12 tries and began losing playing time to his eventual successor, Koichi Oshima.

In 1995, Oishi's batting line fell to .241/.328/.330 in 102 games. He fell further in 1996 (.219/.310/.304 in 80 games) before bouncing back in 1997, hitting .265/.356/.344 in 73 games in his final campaign.

In 1,892 games in NPB, he hit .274/.347/.401 with 415 stolen bases (in 546 tries) and 1,116 runs. Through 2006 in Japanese Baseball, he was tied with Fumio Fujimura for 15th in NPB history in triples (63), was 20th in runs, 7th in steals and 14th in sacrifice hits (236).

After retiring as a player, Oishi worked as a baseball commentator for Fuji TV. He then was a defense and baserunning coach with the Buffaloes. When Terry Collins retired in May of 2008, Oishi stepped into the managerial role and guided the team into the playoffs, where they fell to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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