Toshoku Uda

From BR Bullpen

Toshoku Uda (宇田東植 in Japanese, 주동식 in Korean, Dong-sik Joo in English translated from Korean)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 156 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Toshoku Uda may have been the first pitcher to appear in both a Japan Series and Korean Series.

Uda was a 4th-round draft pick of the Toei Flyers in 1971. He led the Eastern League in ERA in 1972 and made it to the big club, allowing 11 runs (9 earned) in 16 2/3 IP. He had a 6.04 ERA and .297 opponent average in 12 relief outings in 1973 and allowed one unearned run in two innings for the 1974 Nippon Ham Fighters (the Flyers having changed names). In 1975, he was 2-2 with a 3.88 ERA, though opponents hit .300; he only walked 9 in 51 innings. Uda allowed one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings in 1976 and was 0-1 with a 4.54 ERA in 13 games in 1977. He had a 2-3, 5.00 record and .311 opponent average in 1978. In 1979, he saw a big increase in his workload, going 9-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 7 starts and 32 relief appearances; only Masanori Murakami pitched more games for Nippon Ham that year.

The veteran righty was 3-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 1980 but fell to 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA and .359 opponent average in 1981. He played one game in the 1981 Japan Series, allowing one run in one inning of game 4; Nippon Ham lost the Series to the Yomiuri Giants. Uda was then traded to the Hanshin Tigers for middle infielder Yoshiyuki Sakakibara. He played one season for Hanshin and did well (0-1, 2.57, .229 opponent average in 29 G in 1982.

Uda was one of the Japanese pitchers of Korean descent who were recruited to play in the Korea Baseball Organization in its first years (when no foreign imports were allowed unless they had Korean ancestry). Toshoku went 7-7 with 3 saves and a 3.35 ERA for the Haitai Tigers in 1983. He then won both games 3 and 5 of the 1983 Korean Series against the MBC Blue Dragons to give Haitai its first title; his opponent in game five was another pitcher with experience in Japan, Wong-kuk Lee. In 1984, he had a 6-5, 2.27 record but did not make the top 10 in ERA in a pitcher-friendly environment.

Overall, Uda had gone 16-19 with a 3.97 ERA in 171 games (39 starts) in Nippon Pro Baseball. He walked only 85 in 471 2/3 innings but only struck out 155 and allowed a .288 average. In the KBO, he had a 13-12, 2.94 record with 3 saves in 48 contests.

Uda worked as a baseball commentator for Saitama TV in Japan from 1989-2001. He then went back to Korea to be pitching coach of the KIA Tigers in 2002-2003.