Atsushi Aramaki

From BR Bullpen

Atsushi Aramaki (荒巻 淳)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 134 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Atsushi Aramaki is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aramaki once fanned 23 batters in a college game. He made his pro debut with the Mainichi Orions in 1950 and put on a show, going 26-8 with a 2.06 ERA. He led the Pacific League in ERA (.34 over Giichi Hayashi) and wins and was named the league's first Rookie of the Year. He also made the Best Nine as the circuit's top pitcher. After his brilliant regular season, though, he fizzled in the 1950 Japan Series, with 10 runs allowed in 9 1/3 IP as Mainichi's worst hurler. He went 0-1 but the Orions still won the Series in six games. At the plate, Aramaki went 2 for 4 with a homer; for his career, he was your typical pitcher, hitting under the Mendoza Line.

In 1951, the little lefty had a 10-8, 2.43 record with only 29 walks in 144 1/3 IP. He finished 6th in ERA. He went 7-6 with a 1.88 ERA in 1952 and would have edged Susumu Yuki for the PL's best ERA had he qualified. The Orion ace was 17-14 with a 2.14 ERA in 1953, leading the PL in games pitched (50) and wild pitches (5). He was 4th in ERA. He made his first PL All-Star team. Also that season, he went the distance against a MLB All-Star team to beat Ed Lopat. No other Japanese hurler would toss a complete game against MLB All-Stars until 2004.

The Oita native was 22-12 with a 2.32 ERA and 43 walks in 271 innings in 1954 and was again an All-Star. He finished 8th in ERA. Aramaki had a 18-12, 2.35 record in 1955 and became the 22nd pitcher to win 100 games in NPB - and the first to do so in the Pacific League. He made the All-Star team for the third time and tied Hisafumi Kawamura for 8th in ERA. The veteran was 24-16 with a 2.12 ERA and .213 opponent average in 1956, his fourth All-Star campaign. He was 8th in ERA again.

Making his last All-Star team in 1957, Aramaki was 15-11 with a 2.15 ERA and a .216 opponent average. Had he qualified, he would have finished 6th in ERA. He went 17-10 with a 2.13 ERA and .206 average allowed in 1958 to finish 7th in ERA, between Masayuki Dobashi and Bill Nishida. In 1959, Aramaki won 17 games despite only starting four (he relieved in 51), lost 8 and had a 2.26 ERA. He became the 15th NPB hurler to strike out 1,000 batters. If he had qualified, he would have been 4th in ERA behind Tadashi Sugiura, Kazuhisa Inao and Tetsuya Yoneda.

After dominating in the 1950s, Aramaki fell fast in the 1960s. He was 0-2 with a 4.19 ERA in 1960. In the 1960 Japan Series, he tossed 2 2/3 shutout innings as the Orions swept the Taiyo Whales for the title. The left-hander had a 2.42 ERA in 23 relief outings in 1961 and ended his career with one run in two innings for the 1962 Hankyu Braves.

After his playing career ended, Aramaki coached for Hankyu and the Yomiuri Giants. Overall, he was 173-107 with a 2.23 ERA, .226 opponent average and a 1.04 WHIP in 508 games in Nippon Pro Baseball (169 starts). He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. Aramaki was 8th all-time in NPB in ERA (through 2010), between Takehiko Bessho and Shigeru Sugishita.