Takenori Ikebe

From BR Bullpen

Takenori Ikebe (池辺 巌)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Takenori Ikebe played in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Ikebe was signed by the Daimai Orions in 1962.[1] He spent the first two years of his career in the NPB Farm Leagues, and only had 21 at-bats combined with the top team. Ikebe was turned into an outfielder and secured the 4th outfielder spot in 1964, and played 188 games combined in 1964 and 1965. He was the starting centerfielder of the Orions in 1966, and hit .227/.259/.397 with 10 homers. The Orions decided to move Ikebe to third base in 1967. Ikebe adapted to the infield soon, and attended the 1967 NPB All-Star Game, but went 0-for-1.[2] He ended up hitting .286/.331/.389, led the league in doubles and hit-by-pitches, ranked 7th in hits (17 behind Masahiro Doi) and 10th in batting. Ikebe stayed in third base and hit .246/.283/.373 in 1968, but he also made a league-leading 29 errors.[3]

Because of his terrible defense, the Orions moved Ikebe back to center field in 1969. He was selected to the 1969 All-Star Game, and went 1-for-3, with a single off Shoichi Ono. The Nagasaki ended up hitting .322/.367/.454 with 11 homers. He was third in batting (.011 behind Isao Harimoto) and 8th in swipes (31 behind Toshizo Sakamoto). Ikebe extended his reliable performance in 1970, and hit .274/.314/.456 with a league-leading 27 sacrifice bunts. He participated in the All-Star Game for the third time in his career, and went 1-for-7; the only hit was a infield single off Yutaka Enatsu in Game 2.[4] In the 1970 Nippon Series, Ikebe was 4-for-15 with 2 RBI, but the Orions were still beaten by the Yomiuri Giants in 5 games. [5]

Ikebe was selected to the All-Star Game for the third consecutive year in the next summer, but went 0-for-2. He recorded a .288/.348/.474 batting line with 19 dingers in 1971, and ranked 8th in runs (11 behind Atsushi Nagaike). Ikebe batted .268/.321/.453 in 1972, and won his first Diamond Glove Award as an outfielder with Yutaka Fukumoto and Yoshinori Hirose. Ikebe slumped to .215/.300/.358 in 1973, and Takahiro Tokutsu took his outfield spot in 1974. He only went 1-for-6 in the 1974 Nippon Series. The Orions then traded him and Keiichi Inoue to the Hanshin Tigers for Kiyotake Suzuki, Osamu Uetsuji, Seiichi Ogawa, Hideo Hirayama and Masayoshi Moriyama.

Ikebe hit .260/.292/.326 in the first year with the Tigers. He improved to .279/.319/.442 in 1976, and won the Diamond Glove award again. He is the first outfielder to won a Diamond Glove in both leagues. Ikebe still recorded a .274/.303/.421 batting line in 1977, then declined to .228/.263/.272 in 1978. He transferred to the Kintetsu Buffaloes and hit .256/.306/.320 in 1979. After recording a 0-for-2 in the 1979 Nippon Series, Ikebe announced his retirement and became a coach.

He was the defense coach for the Buffaloes from 1984 to 1987, and worked for the Nankai Hawks on their minor team as the same position in 1988. He became the bench coach for the Hawks in 1989, then transferred to the Yokohama Taiyo Whales and served as defense coach from 1990 to 1992. He was also the batting coach for the Chiba Lotte Marines from 1993 to 1994.

Overall, Ikebe had hit .264/.308/.396 with 156 homers in 18 seasons in NPB.