- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 198 lb.
- High School Kamakura Gakuen High School
Corner infielder/RF Masashi Takenouchi played 15 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball. He was picked in the third round in 1967 by the Nishitetsu Lions but a torn groin muscle delayed his debut. He hit .232/.301/.423 in 53 games in 1968 after recuperating. A starter in 1969, he batted just .205/.277/.328. He was hit by 11 pitches, leading the Pacific League. He hit .231/.293/.421 with 19 home runs in 1970. He led the PL with 15 times plunked.
In 1971, the 26-year-old produced at a .247/.335/.440 rate with 10 homers in 182 AB. Despite playing only 54 games, he led the PL with 14 times hit by pitch. He hit .238/.327/.325 with 15 HR in 294 AB in 1972.
Takenouchi hit .251/.323/.460 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI in 1973. He was hit by 16 pitches, leading the circuit. He batted .258/.346/.461 in 1974 with another 22 homers and 73 RBI. He was hit by 15 pitches, most in the PL.
In 1975, Masashi batted .267/.339/.458 with 19 HR. He set a new league record with 17 times hit by pitch (the record was later broken). He hit .250/.323/.413 with 16 homers in 1976; he led the PL with 11 times hit by pitch, the 7th and final time he led in that department.
The slugger blasted a career-best 26 home runs in 1977, when his batting line read .263/.314/.492. In 1978, he faded a bit to .267/.346/.433. He was then traded with Akinobu Mayumi, Masafumi Takeda and Yoshiharu Wakana to the Hanshin Tigers for star slugger Koichi Tabuchi and Kenji Furusawa.
In his Hanshin debut in 1979, Takenouchi delivered another 25 home runs and hit .282/.352/.524. He became the 31st player in NPB history to reach 200 homers. He faded to .233/.292/.411 with 12 homers in 275 AB in 1980. He fractured his hand in May of 1981 and only batted .173/.232/.212 in 33 games that year. He was 2 for 16 with a double and a walk in 1982, then retired.
Takenouchi hit .249/.321/.438 with 216 homers in 1,371 games in NPB. His 166 times hit by pitch were the record at the time of his retirement.
After retiring as a player, Takenouchi coached for the Daiei Hawks, Taiyo Whales, Yokohama BayStars and Hanshin Tigers. He managed in the minor leagues for Yokohama as well. He coached for the Uni-President Lions from 1999-2001. He later ran a coffee shop and coached at the college level.
Primary Source: Japan Baseball Daily by Gary Garland