Yukio Nishimoto

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Yukio Nishimoto

Biographical Information[edit]

Yukio Nishimoto was a Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame manager. He had previously been a first baseman in the 1950s.

Nishimoto served in China during World War II. In the industrial leagues, he played for Zen-Kyoto, Yawata Seitetsu and Hoshino-gumi. He made his pro debut in 1950, hitting .254/.329/.325 for the Mainichi Orions and stealing 13 bases in 20 tries. He was 3 for 8 with 3 walks, 2 runs and a RBI in the 1950 Japan Series as Mainichi won the first Japan Series. He remained a part-timer for the Orions for the next four seasons, falling to .218/.271/.309 in 1951 and following with seasons of .246/.317/.318, .301/.386/.352 and .216/.328/.317. Had he qualified in 1953, he would have been 6th in the Pacific League in average. He was 5 for 30 with 5 walks, a double and a steal in his last season, 1955. Overall, he hit .244/.326/.320 in 491 games in Nippon Pro Baseball with 151 runs and 99 RBI. He stole 44 bases in 71 tries. He only struck out 58 times in 1,133 at-bats.

He later was a very successful manager, winning 8 PL pennants but never a Japan Series. He was 82-48-3 for the Daimai Orions in 1960 but they lost the 1960 Japan Series to the Taiyo Whales. His next stint was with the Hankyu Braves. His first season, 1963, they were last at 57-92-1, but they improved to second at 79-65-6 in 1964. After going 67-71-2 in 1965 and 57-73-4 in 1966, they made big strides. Hankyu won three titles in a row from 1967 to 1969 with records of 75-55-4, 80-50-4 and 76-50-4. They lost the Japan Series each time to the mighty Yomiuri Giants (who would win a historic 9 straight behind Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima).

Hankyu had an off-year at 64-64-2 in 1970 but then had stellar record of 80-39-11 in 1971 and 80-48-2 in 1972. They again fell to the Oh-Nagashima Giants in the 1971 Japan Series and 1972 Japan Series. They were 77-48-5 and finished second in 1973 but Nishimoto was not retained as manager.

He was then hired by the Kintetsu Buffaloes, who had never won the PL pennant. He was 56-66-8 in 1974 but had the best record in 1975 at 71-50-9. Unfortunately, Kintetsu did not get to celebrate its first pennant as the PL went to a split-season schedule that year and they had to appear in a playoff with Hankyu, which prevailed. The Buffaloes fell back down to 57-66-7 in 1976 and 59-61-10 in 1977. They then surged back to second at 71-46-13 in 1978, behind Hankyu. He guided Kintetsu to its first two titles in 1979 (74-45-11) and 1980 (68-54-8). They lost to the Hiroshima Carp in the 1979 Japan Series and 1980 Japan Series. In 1979, Nishimoto won the Matsutaro Shoriki Award. The Buffaloes collapsed in 1981, finishing last at 54-72-4. He was replaced by Seiji Sekiguchi and Kintetsu did not make it back to the Series until 1989.

Overall, Nishimoto was 1,384-1,163-118 in 2,665 games as a manager in NPB. In 1988, he was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in a prestigious class with Nagashima, Kaoru Betto and Masaichi Kaneda. As of 2010, he was 6th in NPB history in managerial wins (behind Kazuto Tsuruoka, Osamu Mihara, Sadayoshi Fujimoto, Shigeru Mizuhara and Katsuya Nomura), 4th in losses (behind Nomura, Fujimoto and Mihara) and first in ties.

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