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Tsuyoshi Oshita

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Tsuyoshi Oshita

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 138 lb.

Tsuyoshi Oshita was a five-time All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball.

The Toei Flyers chose Oshita in the second round in 1966. He debuted as a regular in 1967, hitting .269/.319/.357 with 28 steals in 38 tries. He was four steals behind leader Takayuki Nishida. He made the Pacific League All-Star team and led the PL in times hit by pitch (10). He made the Best Nine as the top shortstop in the circuit but failed to take home Rookie of the Year honors - those went to Yoshimasa Takahashi instead.

In 1968, the 23-year-old hit .262/.299/.322 and was just 11-for-23 in steal attempts. He batted .241/.287/.333 with 15 steals in 22 tries in 1969 and led the PL with 26 sacrifice hits.

Oshita improved to .301/.338/.392 with 72 runs and 32 stolen bases (only caught 7 times) in 1970. He made his second All-Star team. He was 6th in the PL in average, between Michiyo Arito and Katsuya Nomura, but failed to make the Best Nine.

In 1971, Oshita's bat vanished (.229/.276/.294) but he was amazing on the basepaths (33 for 35 in steal attempts). He made his third All-Star team. On May 3, he teamed with Susumu Sakudo, Yutaka Ohashi, Isao Harimoto and Katsuo Osugi in hitting five straight homers, a NPB record. Tsuyoshi batted .270/.317/.349 in 1972 and went 39-for-51 in steal tries. He won the first Diamond Glove Award ever picked at second base in the PL.

Oshita hit .261/.328/.350 and stole 24 bases in 37 attempts in 1973, making his fourth All-Star squad. He ended his Flyers career by hitting .247/.325/.333 with 72 runs and 34 steals (in 41 tries) in 1974. That winter, he was traded to the Hiroshima Carp.

Oshita debuted for Hiroshima by producing at a .270/.314/.318 rate in 1975 with 44 steals, but was thrown out running 20 times. He made his fifth and final All-Star team and led the Central League in both steals and times caught stealing. He won the Diamond Glove and made the Best Nine at second base - his only Best Nine outside his rookie year. He hit .192/.300/.192 in the 1975 Japan Series and stole 4 bases in 6 tries as Hiroshima lost out.

In 1976, Oshita fell to 14 steals in 20 tries while hitting .266/.305/.335. He batted .250/.304/.303 with only 9 stolen bases in 18 attempts in 1977 then faded to .217/.295/.270 with two steals in 1978 before retiring.

Oshita hit .260/.310/.334 in 5,264 plate appearances and 1,310 games in NPB. He stole 295 bases in 404 tries. Through 2009, he was 27th in league annals in stolen bases. He turned the hidden ball trick three times as a player.

Retiring, Oshita coached in 1979 then worked as a TV commentator. In 1988 and 1999, he was Hiroshima's head coach. When the Carp struggled in '99, he called it quits, taking the blame for their failures.

Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com

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