Black Mist Scandal

From BR Bullpen

The Black Mist Scandal refers to a series of game fixing scandals in Nippon Professional Baseball between 1969 and 1971. The fallout from these scandals resulted in several star players receiving long suspensions, salary cuts, or being banned from professional play entirely; the resulting abandonment of baseball by many fans in Japan also led to the sale of such illustrious teams as the Nishitetsu Lions and Toei Flyers (now the Seibu Lions and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters).

Timeline[edit]

  • May 25: The commissioner committee issues the following punishments to Nishitetsu players:
    • Ikenaga, Yoda, Masuda: Banned for life (Yoda and Masuda admitted to involvement; Ikenaga claimed to be uninvolved, but had not returned the 1 million yen he had received as an invitation to do so.)
    • Murakami and Funada: Suspended until the end of the 1970 season
    • Motoi: Severe warning
  • June 3: Ogawa is banned from baseball for life.
  • June 15: Yamazaki is banned from baseball for life.
  • June 17: Tōkyō Yakult Swallows catcher Toshio Katō is arrested by police for driving without a license. He is benched by the team indefinitely, then is released at the end of the year, joining Toei in 1971.
  • June 18: Katsuragi is suspended by the commissioner committee for three months.
  • July 1: Kintetsu outfielder Masahiro Doi is prosecuted for illegal gambling. He is later suspended by the league for a month.
  • July 30: Moriyasu is banned from baseball for life. Tanaka receives a warning.
  • September 8: Yakult infielder Takeshi Kuwata is arrested for his role in the auto-racing scandal. He would later receive a three-month suspension from the league, but his involvement effectively barred him from signing with another team and he retired at the end of the year.
  • November 30: Hanshin pitcher Yutaka Enatsu receives a stern warning from the Central League president due to "involvement with persons in baseball gambling".
  • January 11, 1971: Nankai Hawks pitcher Kiyohiro Miura receives a stern warning for receiving an invitation to throw games from teammate Kimihiro Satō and not reporting it.
  • January 29: Taiyo coach Takashi Suzuki and pitcher Shōji Sakai are barred from playing in the premiere league for their invovement with the yakuza.
  • February 15: Lotte Orions pitcher Fumio Narita is suspended for a month for his involvement with bookmakers.

Players banned for life[edit]

  • Masayuki Nagayasu
  • Masaaki Ikenaga (reinstated in 2005)
  • Yorinobu Yoda
  • Akio Masada
  • Kentarō Ogawa
  • Toshiaki Moriyasu

Ikenaga's reinstatement[edit]

Ikenaga's banning was fiercely contested by both Nishitetsu's front office and Ikenaga's own family. His case was not taken up by baseball until March 2005, when the commissioner and owners agreed on a bylaw that allowed banned players who have reformed themselves to petition for a removal of the ban. Ikenaga requested a removal soon afterwards, an on April 25, 2005 he was allowed to return to baseball.

Some or all content from this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Black Mist Scandal (Japanese Baseball)".