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Yoshiie Tachibana

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Yoshiie Tachibana (立花 義家)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 213 lb.

Yoshiie Tachibana played for 14 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball and one in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

Tachibana was picked in the first round in 1976 by the Crown Lighter Lions. He debuted in 1978 and hit .250/.281/.272 with no homers in 460 at-bats in a regular role. On April 14, 1979, he hit the first homer at Seibu Stadium. On the year, he batted .246/.278/.355, showing more pop than as a rookie. Tachiba had a career year in 1980, putting up a .301/.349/.469 line with 18 home runs.

Yoshiie fell to .271/.323/.355 in 1981 and .251/.302/.302 in 1982. In the 1982 Japan Series, he went 0 for 2 as a backup outfielder for the Lions, who won their first Japan Series title. Tachibana batted .309/.358/.435 in 1983; had he qualified, he would have been 6th in the Pacific League in average. He hit .222/.250/.407 in the 1983 Japan Series, including a game three homer, as Seibu beat the Yomiuri Giants to win it all. Tachibana joined Takuji Ota and Terry Whitfield as Seibu's starting outfielders in the Series.

The Fukuoka native struggled at .226/.280/.343 in 1984 and was a bench player by 1985 (11 for 47, HR, 5 BB, SB). He went 0 for 2 in the 1985 Japan Series, which the Lions lost to the Hanshin Tigers. In 1986, Tachibana hit .268/.316/.338, then struck out in his lone at-bat in the 1986 Japan Series (won by the Lions).

The veteran remained a bench player in 1987 (.229/.270/.386 in 74 plate appearances, 0 for 5 with 3 whiffs in the 1987 Japan Series, which his club won again), 1988 (.246/.319/.338 in 72 plate appearances, 1 for 2 in the 1988 Japan Series win), 1989 (.196/.288/.255 in 59 plate appearances) and 1990 (10 for 50, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB). He spent all of 1991 in the minors.

Moving to the Tigers, Tachibana batted .237/.287/.244 in 101 plate appearances in 1992, his biggest workload in years. He finished his career in 1993 with Taiwan's Jungo Bears, hitting .295/.382/.480. Had he qualified, he would have been 5th in OBP and 6th in slugging.

Tachibana hit .262/.309/.360 in 1,149 games in NPB. He later coached in the minors for the Daiei Hawks (1998-2001) and Orix BlueWave (2002-2003), then coached for the Seibu Lions (2004-2007) and Softbank Hawks (2008-)

Sources: Japan Baseball Daily, Chinese Wiki Baseball

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