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Shitoshi Sekimoto

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Shitoshi Sekimoto

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 165 lb.

Shitoshi Sekimoto pitched for eight seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball and won one ERA title.

Sekimoto was not picked until the tenth round of the 1967 draft, by the Yomiuri Giants. He made it to the big club in 1971 and excelled at 10-11, 2.15 with a .225 opponent average and 1.07 WHIP. He was named the Central League Rookie of the Year and was 5th in the league in ERA, between Masakatsu Kotani and Tomoo Wakao. He started game two of the 1971 Japan Series but was yanked in favor of Kazumi Takahashi after one inning. Two days later, he went the distance to beat the Hankyu Braves in a 3-1 duel against Hisashi Yamada. Yomiuri went on to win the Series, the 7th of their record nine straight Japan Series titles.

Sekimoto fell to 2-6, 4.33 in 1972. In the 1972 Japan Series, the swingman pitched in relief in games 3 and 4, tossing four shutout innings; Yomiuri beat Hankyu in five. Shitoshi again had a poor won-loss record (4-10) despite improving his ERA to 3.41 in 1973 and again being backed by a first-place team. He did not appear in the 1973 Japan Series as Yomiuri only used three hurlers - Tsuneo Horiuchi, Makoto Kurata and Kazumi Takahashi.

The Niigata native won the CL ERA title (10-5, 2.28, 1.08 WHIP) in 1974, the same year Yomiuri's historic Japan Series run ended. He beat out Keishi Asano by .11 for the ERA crown and made his only CL All-Star squad. After that, he would win just one more game - 0-4, 3.97, .307 opponent average in 1975 followed by 1-4, 4.83, .327 in 1976, 0-1, 6.00, .346 in 1977 and 9 runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 IP in 1978.

Overall, Sekimoto was 27-41 with a 3.14 ERA in 166 career games (84 starts, 82 relief appearances). He later was a Yomiuri pitching coach.

Source: Japan Baseball Daily

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