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Yutaka Ohashi

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Yutaka Ohashi

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 171 lb.

Yutaka Ohashi was not a major offensive force, but won seven Diamond Glove Awards at shortstop.

Ohashi surprisingly hit 20 home runs to set a record in the Tokyo Metropolitan University League. The Toei Flyers took him in the third round in 1968. He hit .217/.279/.316 in 1969, .183/.261/.283 in 1970 and .213/.293/.309 with only 12 RBI (despite 7 homers) in 112 games in 1971 before leaving Toei for the Hankyu Braves. He made the Pacific League All-Star team in 1970. On May 3, 1971, he teamed with Susumu Sakudo, Tsuyoshi Oshita, Isao Harimoto and Katsuo Osugi to hit five straight homers, a NPB record.

Ohashi batted .216/.293/.309 with 15 home runs in 1972 . He won the first Diamond Glove Award given out at shortstop in the PL and was also named to the league's Best Nine as the top player at that position. He was 2 for 13 with two walks in the 1972 Japan Series, which Hankyu lost.

In 1973, Ohashi went yard a career-high 17 times and slugged .414 but had only a .214 average and .281 OBP as a one-dimensional offensive threat. He made the PL All-Star team, won a Diamond Glove and made the Best Nine.

Yutaka fell to .209/.279/.352 in 1974 but again was a Diamond Glove winner and Best Nine selection. In 1975, he hit .229/.296/.304, made his third and last All-Star team, won a Diamond Glove and made the Best Nine. He did a great job in the 1975 Japan Series, batting .368/.455/.632 with a game 3 home run as Hankyu topped the Hiroshima Carp for their first title.

Ohashi fell under the Mendoza Line in 1976 with a .191/.249/.240 batting line and only 43 runs produced in 116 games. His home run title fell to two. He still made his fifth and last Best Nine squad, on the strength of his glovework, as he won another Diamond Glove. He was 3 for 20 with two walks but also 3 runs and 5 RBI in the 1976 Japan Series, won by the Braves.

The Himi native had a batting line of .215/.278/.270 in 1977 with a PL-high 23 sacrifice hits. He won his sixth Diamond Glove in a row. He was 3 for 14 with a walk in the 1977 Japan Series, the third straight Japan Series won by Hankyu, their last national title. Ohashi batted .218/.276/.345 and stole 12 bases in 15 tries in 1978. At age 32, he captured his final Diamond Glove. He hit .261/.320/.348 in the 1978 Japan Series but Hankyu fell to the Yakult Swallows.

In 1979, Yutaka hit .208/.271/.304 with 14 swipes in 15 tries and had his Diamond Glove run ended by Nobuhiro Takashiro. Ohashi batted .219/.285/.412 with 9 homers in 187 at-bats in 1980, was 2 for 9 in 1981 and 3 for 31 with six walks in 1982 to conclude his playing career.

Overall, Ohashi had a batting line of .210/.280/.326 with 96 home runs and 87 steals (in 136 tries) in 1,372 games in Nippon Pro Baseball. He later was a coach for the Braves (1983-1990, Chunichi Dragons (1991-1992) and Swallows (1993-2000) then managed in the minors for Chunichi. He began 2005 as the hitting coach for Taiwan's Uni-President Lions and then became manager, going 24-23-3 that year, 48-45-7 in 2006 and 4-13 before being canned in 2007. He was a minor league coach for the SK Wyverns in Korea in 2008.

Sources: Japanbaseballdaily.com, Taiwan Baseball Wiki

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