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Hideaki Takazawa

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Hideaki Takazawa

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 176 lb.

Hideaki Takazawa was a two-time Best Nine pick in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Takazawa played for Oji Seishi Tomakomai in the industrial leagues after high school. He was a second-round draft pick of the Lotte Orions in 1979. He debuted for Lotte in 1980, playing one game and not batting. He was 0 for 3 with a run in 10 games in 1981. Takazawa hit .234/.289/.312 in 38 games in 1982, his first hit coming off Yukihiko Yamaoki and his first homer off Yasuo Kubo.

As a part-timer in 1983, Hideaki hit .303/.348/.453. He hit .317/.346/.496 with 26 doubles and 70 runs in 1984. That season, he made his first Pacific League All-Star team. He won a Diamond Glove Award in the outfield and was named to the Best Nine as one of the PL's top three outfielders, alongside Tommy Cruz and Koji Minoda. He was 4th in the circuit in average behind foreigners Boomer Wells, Cruz and Steve Ontiveros.

In 1985, the Lotte flyhawk had a batting line of .273/.325/.411, followed by a very similar .273/.322/.456 with a career-high 15 home runs in 1986. He made his second All-Star team in the latter year.

Takazawa batted .292/.351/.418 with 27 steals in 38 tries in 1987. He was 7th in the PL in average, between Ben Oglivie and Hiromi Matsunaga. He made his third All-Star team and won his second defensive award (now renamed a Gold Glove instead of a Diamond Glove).

His best season was 1988, when the 29-year-old's line read .327/.378/.476 with 28 doubles, 14 homers and 13 steals in 16 tries. He made his last All-Star team (winning MVP honors in the first All-Star Game that year) and won his last Gold Glove. He won the PL batting title by .001 over Matsunaga but that was clouded by controversy as Lotte walked Matsunaga 11 straight times at year's end so he wouldn't catch Takazawa. He also led the league with 158 hits, four more than Matsunaga or Ken Hirano.

Hideaki fell to .277 in 1989 but his OBP (.367) and slugging (.440) stayed close to '88 levels. He faded to .254/.341/.400 in 1990, part of which he spent with the Hiroshima Carp. Splitting 1991 between Lotte and Hiroshima again, he hit .250/.317/.386 in 55 games. With the Orions in 1992, he eked out a .180/.255/.273 line in 67 contests and retired.

Takazawa later was Lotte's hitting coach.

Source: Japan Baseball Daily

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