Hisafumi Kawamura (河村 久文)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 156 lb.
- High School Beppu Midorigaoka High School
Hisafumi Kawamura won over 100 games in Nippon Pro Baseball and was a three-time All-Star.
Kawamura played for Toyo Koatsu Omuta in the industrial leagues after high school. He then signed with the Nishitetsu Lions. As a rookie in 1953, he was 3-4 with a 2.51 ERA and .218 opponent average, but walked 41 in 82 1/3 IP. He was a star performer in 1954 and a workhorse too. He started 21 games and relieved in 40 more to work 276 innings total. He allowed a .192 average and posted a .98 WHIP and 1.99 ERA while going 25-12. He made the Pacific League All-Star team and led the league in games pitched. He was also among the leaders in ERA (4th, behind Motoshi Takuwa, Sadao Nishimura and Mamoru Otsu) and wins (3rd, one behind Takuwa and Fumio Tanaka). He shut out the Chunichi Dragons in game 3 of the 1954 Japan Series and lost game 5 in relief. He got the call again in game 7 and lost a 1-0 duel to Shigeru Sugishita. He had a 1-2, 0.82 record in 5 games that Series.
An All-Star again in 1955, Kawamura pitched 58 games (30 starts) and 279 1/3 innings, going 21-9 with a 2.35 ERA, .216 opponent average, 225 strikeouts and 118 walks. He finished 7th in the league in ERA (between Yasuo Yonekawa and Jun Aramaki), tied Takuwa for the most appearances, led in walks (27 more than runner-up Otsu), led in strikeouts (three ahead of Takao Kajimoto), tied Otsu for fourth in wins (behind Takuwa, Taisei Nakamura and Yonekawa) and was third in innings (trailing Yonekawa and Noboru Yamashita).
He fell to 18-12, 3.12 as the Lions' 4th-best starter in 1956 (behind Kazuhisa Inao, Yukio Shimabara and Sadaaki Nishimura). In an interesting note, Inao had gone to the same high school as Kawamura. He was 9th in the PL in wins. he had a 1.86 ERA and no decisions in two outings (one start) for the Lions as they beat the Yomiuri Giants in the 1956 Japan Series. In 1957, he was 17-8 with a 2.24 ERA and made his final All-Star squad. He finished 6th in the league in ERA, 7th in wins and 7th in strikeouts (127). He was 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA as the Lions topped the Giants in the 1957 Japan Series; he won a 2-1 duel in game two, pitched shutout ball in a 0-0 tie with Yoshinori Kido in game four and relieved in game 5.
Kawamura had a 14-11, 2.58 record, .217 opponent average and 1.09 WHIP in 1958. On May 11, he became the 24th NPB hurler to 100 career wins. He was 9th in ERA (between Bill Nishita and Otsu) and made the top 10 in walks, strikeouts, wins and appearances (52) for the final time. He was atrocious in the 1958 Japan Series, allowing four runs and five hits in one inning over two games as Inao carried the Lions to a third straight Series title. It would be Kawamura's last Japan Series.
After a 4-5, 4.08 campaign in 1959, he was dealt to the Hiroshima Carp. He went 4-5 again, but with a 2.75 ERA, in 1960. The veteran had a 7-9, 4.13 campaign in 1961. He fell to 0-4, 4.69 in 1962 (though he did become the 25th NPB pitcher to 1,000 K) and was 0-4 again (with a 7.34 ERA and .317 opponent average) in 1963.
Overall, Kawamura was 113-83 with a 2.74 ERA, .229 opponent average and 1.18 WHIP in 414 NPB games (210 starts). He struck out 1,1016 and walked 580 in 1,660 IP. At the plate, he had hit .151/.177/.200 with 4 homers and 154 strikeouts in 573 plate appearances. Through 2011, he was tied for 93rd in NPB history in wins (even with Takenori Emoto), 56th in winning percentage (between Hiroshi Gondo and Minoru Nakamura) and 76th in ERA.
After his playing career ended, Kawamura coached for the Lions (1972-1973), Nankai Hawks (1983-1985) and Orix BlueWave (1999-2000). In between the Nankai and Orix stints, he was a commentator for Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting.
- japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland
- Michael Eng's NPB database