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Yasumitsu Toyoda

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Yasumitsu Toyoda

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Yasumitsu Toyoda broke in with the Nishitetsu Lions in 1953 as a shortstop. He won Rookie of the Year honors after posting a .281 batting average with 27 home runs. In 1956, Toyoda won the Japanese batting title with a .327 average and was also honored with the Japan Series MVP award.

Toyoda was a weak fielder. He led the Pacific League in errors twice and topped 27 errors eight times. Teammate Tokuji Kawasaki designed his throwing strategy around trying to get hitters to hit to any other position besides short. This caused ill feelings between the two. Later in Toyoda's career, he moved over to first base.

Toyoda was traded to the Kokutetsu Swallows in 1963.

During his career, Yasumitsu was chosen for six Best Nine squads and nine All-Star teams. He had a .277 lifetime batting average with 263 home runs. Toyoda was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Following his playing career, Toyoda was a coach for Kintetsu before becoming an outspoken commentator for Bunka Broadcasting. When he was chosen for the Hall of Fame, he noted that his work on the air must have helped get him in since he wasn't good enough to get in on his playing ability alone. Toyoda has also been active in promoting the campaign to grow aodamo for the production of bats.

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