Tatsuo Omiya

From BR Bullpen

Tatsuo Omiya

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 185 lb.

Tatsuo Omiya played 16 years in Nippon Pro Baseball. Primarily a catcher, he made three All-Star teams and won one Diamond Glove award. He later became a coach.

A fourth-round draft pick of the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1976, Omiya debuted in 1977 with a .167/.194/.317 batting line in 40 games (64 PA). In 1978, he hit .262/.295/.345 in 51 games (89 PA) and followed that with a .274/.313/.399 season in 75 games (180 PA). He hit 5 homers in 168 AB and stole 12 bases in 15 tries. He remained a part-time player in 1980 and batted .252/.353/.326. On July 29, he hit his only triple and home run of the season and added a single and double to complete the only cycle of his career.

In 1981, Omiya became a starter and made the Pacific League All-Star team. He hit .249/.308/.416 with 15 HR and 13 SB (in 17 tries). The next year, he was again an All-Star as well as a Diamond Glove Award winner. He batted .258/.317/.496 with a career-high 16 homers and 67 RBI.

Omiya slumped to a .230/.298/.336 line in 1983 with just eight homers. He made his final All-Star team in 1984, batting .253/.310/.391 for the year. He had 289 AB only and it was his final season playing 100 games.

With his playing time drop, Tatsuo produced at a .263/.318/.340 clip in 1985. In 1986, he batted .193/.207/.351 in just 39 games (58 PA). Topping 100 plate appearance for the last time in 1987, the 32/33-year-old backstop batted .286/.352/.378 in 109 plate appearances over 57 games.

In 1988, the Nippon Ham mainstay hit .173/.244/.259 in 57 games (91 PA). The next season was his last with the Fighters and he batted .225/.244/.325 in 30 games (42 PA); he cracked his final career home run.

Omiya signed with the powerhouse Seibu Lions next. In spring training, the former slugger was the victim of a slugging when Chunichi Dragons outfielder Benny Distefano hit him after Distefano had been plunked by a Yoshitaka Katori offering. Distefano was ejected for the incident. Omiya went on to hit .194/.278/.242 in 33 games (74 PA). Tatsuo did not appear in the 1990 Japan Series, but was on a Series-winning team for the first time of his career.

During the 1991 campaign, the Seibu sub batted just .095/.174/.095 in 25 games (23 PA) at age 36/37. He got into one game of the 1991 Japan Series, won by Seibu, but did not bat. Omiya concluded his playing career in 1992 by batting .190/.320/.190 in 27 games (25 PA). In the 1992 Japan Series, he laid down a sacrifice bunt in his lone plate appearance in Seibu's victory.

Overall, Omiya had hit .243/.303/.377 in 1,034 games in his NPB career. He hit 63 HR in 2,360 AB and stole 70 bases in 100 tries, showing a rare combination of power and speed for a (mostly) backup catcher. His low OBP limited his playing time outside of his prime.

Tatsuo coached with Nippon Ham after he finished playing.

Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland