Kazuhiro Takeda

From BR Bullpen


Kazuhiro Takeda (武田 一浩)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 176 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kazuhiro Takeda was a five-time All-Star in fifteen seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Amateur Career and Nippon Ham[edit]

Takeda was 20-8 in the Tokyo Big Six University League, leading to his being a first-round pick of the Nippon Ham Fighters in the 1987 NPB draft. [1] He was 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA for the 1988 Fighters, then was 6-8 with a 4.22 record in 1989. He pitched two shutouts, tying him for 7th in the Pacific League. He pitched in 1990 NPB All-Star Game 2, relieving Takehiro Ishii in the 8th with a 7-3 lead. He allowed four runs in two innings against the Central League but his team scored five more. [2] He was 10-5 with 13 saves and a 2.98 ERA in 1990, tying for 9th in the PL in wins, tying Yoshitaka Katori for 8th in games pitched (37), finishing third in saves (behind Katori and Masato Yoshii) and trailing only Katori in save points.

In 1991 NPB All-Star Game 2, he took over for Masaharu Motohara with one out in the 7th and working 1 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only one hit before Katori succeeded him. [3] He was 4-8 with 18 saves and a 4.04 ERA in 1991. He was second in the PL in pitching appearances (45, 4 behind Tetsuya Shiozaki), first in saves (five ahead of Chikafusa Ikeda) and first in save points. He won Fireman of the Year. [4] He lost his closer role to Yasukatsu Shirai in 1992 and was 4-9 with a 3.87 ERA as a swingman. He tied for 9th in the PL in defeats. He was a starter in 1993 and did well at 10-8, 3.33. He was 9th in the PL in ERA (between Katsuyoshi Murata and Nobuyuki Hoshino), tied Shigetoshi Hasegawa for 8th with nine complete games and was 10th with 170 1/3 IP (between Yukinaga Maeda and Kimiyasu Kudoh). [5] He faded to 5-9, 5.98 in 1994 and barely pitched for the top team in 1995 (3 R in 5 1/3 IP) but won an ERA title in the minors. [6]


He was then traded with Shinji Matsuda to the Daiei Hawks for Hideyuki Yasuda and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi. [7] He made his first All-Star team in five years; in 1996 NPB All-Star Game 3, he relieved Taira Suzuki in the 4th with a 3-2 deficit and faced the minimum over the next two innings (facing Alonzo Powell, Hideki Matsui, Tomoaki Kanemoto, Yutaka Wada, Atsuya Furuta, Tomonori Maeda) then gave way to Takahito Nomura. [8] For the 1996 season, he was 15-8 with a 3.84 ERA. He was third in the league in wins (behind Kip Gross and Fumiya Nishiguchi), tied for ninth in complete games (six), led with four shutouts and was ninth with 171 IP (between Tsutomu Iwamoto and Shintaro Yamasaki).

He fell to 4-9 in 1997 though his ERA remained almost identical (3.85) to his 15-8 campaign. He was among the PL leaders in losses (tied for 5th), shutouts (2, tied for 4th), innings (168 2/3, 8th, between Shiozaki and Kudoh), runs allowed (85, tied Nishiguchi for 4th) and earned runs allowed (70, 6th, between Nishiguchi and David West). He made his fourth All-Star team the next year. In 1998 NPB All-Star Game 1, he relieved Satoru Kanemura in the 6th with a 4-1 deficit. He again faced the minimum through two innings, retiring Norihiro Komada, Furuta, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Yoshinobu Takahashi, Kenjiro Nomura and Matsui. Yui Tomori succeeded him. [9] He finished the 1998 season at 13-10, 3.62. He was 8th in the PL in wins (between Komiyama and Junichiro Muto), tied Tomohiro Kuroki and Nishiguchi for the win lead, tied Hoshino and Tatsuji Nishimura for 6th in losses, tied Kuroki for the most starts (28), tied for 9th in complete games (4), was 5th in IP (176 1/3, between Nishiguchi and Hiroyuki Sekine) and ranked 6th with 103 strikeouts.

Chunichi and Yomiuri[edit]

A free agent, he signed with the Chunichi Dragons. [10] After four PL All-Star teams, he made a CL All-Star team. Relieving Shinji Sasaoka in the 6th inning of 1999 NPB All-Star Game 2 with a 8-2 lead, he pitched two shutout innings before allowing three in the eighth. Eiji Ochiai closed it out. [11] He was 9-10 with a 3.50 ERA for the 1999 Dragons. He was 6th in ERA (between Sasaoka and Balvino Galvez), tied for 9th in wins, tied Daisuke Miura for 4th in losses, tied for 6th with five complete games, tied Miura and Koji Takagi for 4th with three shutouts and tied Kenshin Kawakami for 10th in IP (162). [12]

He fell to 3-6, 4.66 in 2000 and 3-6, 4.83 in 2001. He closed out his career with the Yomiuri Giants in 2002 at 2-1, 4.22. When he beat Chunichi, he became only the third NPB pitcher to beat all 12 teams during his career, following Osamu Nomura and Masaaki Koga. The feat became easier once NPB established interleague play after his career. [13] He finished his career at 89-99 with 31 saves and a 3.92 ERA in 341 games (210 starts). He threw 13 shutouts in his 38 complete games and struck out 1,008 in 1,517 2/3 IP.

Announcing and Coaching[edit]

He became a baseball commentator for NHK starting in 2003 and still held that role as of 2020. He also coached for the Japanese national team that won the 2006 World Baseball Classic. [14]