Shuichi Ishimoto

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Shuichi Ishimoto (石本 秀一)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shuichi Ishimoto is a manager who managed in Nippon Pro Baseball for 26 years.

Ishimoto was the coach for Hiroshima Commercial High School starting in 1923, and led them won four Summer Koshien title - in 1924, 1929, 1930 and 1931. When the Japanese Professional Baseball League was founded in 1936, Ishimoto was hired by the Osaka Tigers for their manager. He led them to the championship in the fall of 1937 and spring of 1938. Ishimoto set the NPB record for quickest to winning 100 games (131) and 200 games (272). Overall, the Tigers were 226-78 when Ishimoto was their manager. He also managed in the first NPB All-Star Game. He was famous for his severe training.

When the Tigers was beaten by the Tokyo Kyojin in 1938, Ishimoto was fired by the Tigers. He then joined the Nagoya Kinko, but he only had a 34-63 record because Nagoya was a weak team before he came. When Kinko was merged with Tsubasa and became the Taiyo club in 1941, Ishimoto was a co-manager with Tsubasa's Hisanori Karita. He soon replaced Karita and became the only manager in 1942. He taught Taiyo's ace Jiro Noguchi how to throw a slider, and helped him collect 40 wins in that season. Ishimoto was also the manager in the longest game in NPB history - a 28-inning game on May 24. When Taiyo was brought by the Nishi-Nippon Railroad in the next season, he was still the manager, but he only led the new Nishitetsu entry to have a 39-37 record. The team was expelled after that season due to the War.

When the War ended, Ishimoto managed the Taiyo Robins in 1949, but they only had a .391 record. When the JPBL split into two leagues, the Hiroshima Carp invited their hometown hero Ishimoto to become their first manager. Since the Carp was a poor team, Ishimoto needed to recruit players with his charisma. He helped the Carp find their first ace - Ryohei Hasegawa - and their main clean-up hitter Makoto Kozuru. He even helped raise funds as a manager to help the Carp survive. Although the team was saved from being merged with the Taiyo Whales, it was still a weak team due to a lack of financial power. Carp's winning percentage was never above .400 in Ishimoto's four-year managing career for them. Ishimoto quit in 1953, and became the pitching coach for the Nishitetsu Lions from 1954 to 1955. He was also a coach for the Chunichi Dragons from 1961 to 1962. Ishimoto was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

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