- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 171 lb.
Osamu Nomura was a four-time All-Star in 19 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball.
Nomura was a first-round choice of the Taiyo Whales in 1968. He made it to the big club in 1969 and allowed one run in five innings. He had a 1-2, 5.37 record in 1970 and 4-3, 2.24 in 1971. Had he qualified, he would have been 8th in the 1971 Central League in ERA.
Moving to the Lotte Orions in a deal for star slugger Shinichi Eto, Osamu went 14-10 with a 4.13 ERA in 1972 and made his first Pacific League All-Star team. He had 34 homers allowed, but walked only 49 in 220 1/3 IP. In 1973, the 26-year-old was 6-10 with a 4.33 ERA and 29 homers to 38 walks as a Robin Roberts-type pitcher (many homers, few walks). He then switched clubs again, now moving to the Nippon Ham Fighters.
In 1974, the veteran right-hander was 4-9 with a save and a 3.66 ERA. Despite increasing his inning total, he cut his gopher ball more than in half (29 to 13). Nomura improved to 11-3, 3.34 in 1975. During 1976, he was 13-16 with a 3.04 ERA, 30 walks and a league-worst 27 homers allowed. He also led the PL in losses. In 1977, he fell to 5-10 with a save, 4.50 ERA and .293 opponent average. He walked only 17 in 132 innings while giving up 23 long balls, a rare time when a pitcher has more homers allowed than bases on balls.
Taiyo, Take Two
Returning to the Whales in 1978, Nomura rebounded to 17-11 with four saves and a 3.14 ERA for his best season. He was an All-Star for the third time. He led the CL in wins only two years after leading his circuit in losses. He also tied Akio Saito and Akio Matsubara for the most complete games (12). He was 4th in the circuit in ERA. He slumped all the way to 7-9, 5.62 in 1979.
Nomura turned in a 15-10, 4.68 season in 1980 but made his fourth and final All-Star squad. He struggled to a 3-14, 6.16 season with a .336 opponent average in 1981. He finished his second tour of duty with the Whales in 1982, going 5-9 with a 4.41 ERA.
Switching clubs one last time, Nomura wound up with the Hanshin Tigers. He was 12-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 1983 but was only 2-5 with a 4.52 ERA and .308 opponent average in 1984 and 1-0 with a 5.13 ERA in limited action in 1985. He finally made it to a Japan Series. He retired all four batters he faced in the 1985 Japan Series as Hanshin beat the Seibu Lions as Hanshin won its first Series ever. Nomura was 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 relief outings in 1986.
Nomura pitched 579 games (312 starts) in NPB, with a 121-132 record, 8 saves and a 4.02 ERA. He gave up 315 homers in 2355 2/3 IP, struck out 1,075 and walked 538. Through 2009, he was 17th in NPB history in homers allowed, 26th in runs allowed (1,169) and 21st in earned runs allowed (1,052). In 500 career at-bats, he hit .158/.193/.186 with one homer and 189 strikeouts.
Main Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com