Takahito Nomura

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Takahito Nomura
also known as Takaki Nomura

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Biographical Information[edit]

Takahito Nomura was a two-time Pacific League All-Star who briefly played in the majors after washing up in Japan. A predictable bust in the majors, he fell into scandal several years later due to drug problems.

Early career[edit]

After high school, Nomura played for Fuji Heavy Industries Mihara in the industrial leagues. He was picked in the third round of the 1990 NPB draft by the Orix BlueWave. He debuted with Orix two years later and went 1-2 with 5 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 1992. In 1993, the 23-year-old had one of his best years, going 3-3 with 8 saves and a 1.53 ERA. He struck out 83 and walked 12 in 70 2/3 IP before fading to 3-4, 6 Sv, 4.34 in 1994. He walked 25 in 47 2/3 IP but still fanned 58 that season.

Peak[edit]

In 1995, Takahito had his other great year (3-1, 2 Sv, 0.98, 21 H, 11 BB, 43 K in 36 2/3 IP). He struggled in the 1995 Japan Series, though, walking two of the five batters he faced, allowing hits to two others and throwing a wild pitch in Orix's loss. Nomura remained solid in 1996 (4-1, 5 Sv, 2.86, 84 K in 69 1/3 IP), making his first All-Star roster. He appeared in four of the five games in the 1996 Japan Series, allowing no runs in 3 1/3 innings as Orix took their only title.

Takaki began his slide in 1997, fading to 4-5, 8 Sv, 3.60, while making his second All-Star team.

Yomiuri LOOGY[edit]

At age 29 the next year, the southpaw moved to the Yomiuri Giants (in a trade for Masao Kida) and struck out 23 in 19 2/3 IP as a LOOGY but walked 18 and went 1-4 with four saves and a 5.03 ERA. He saw limited action in 1999, hurling 13 2/3 innings, striking out 16, allowing four walks, two runs and 9 hits while winning both of his decisions.

Nomura's line read 1-1, 1 Sv, 6.75 in 2000 with 21 K in 20 innings. He went 2-1 with a 4.62 ERA in 2001 as he fell under a strikeout per inning and allowed 47 hits in 37 innings. The Giants released him.

In the USA[edit]

Nomura signed with the Milwaukee Brewers and had a great spring training to make the team. The washed-up reliever still allowed just a .224 average but walked 18 in 14 innings and had a 8.56 ERA, leading the team to send him down in mid-May. He finished the year with 31 outings for the Indianapolis Indians, where he was 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA.

Fourth chance, fifth chance[edit]

Takahito returned to Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters but allowed 11 hits in 5 1/3 IP and had a 11.81 ERA in six outings. He then went to the Macoto Cobras in the Chinese Professional Baseball League

Legal problems[edit]

Nomura was arrested for stalking in 2005. The next year, he was arrested again, this time for possession of syringes and speed in Kochi Prefecture. He had tried to escape from the police. One source from Yomiuri reported that he used to come to the stadium with all kinds of drugs. At the time, Nomura was living at his mother's home and said he was working as a fisherman, his life having careened significantly downhill.

Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland

Related Sites[edit]