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Baseball Analysis  Craig Tomarkin / the japanese insider


by Craig Tomarkin

The thirty best; are largely based on a combination of lifetime stats (where available), awards, subjective opinions from various baseball historians and McNeil's terrific book  “Baseball's Other Stars,” using clues from his All-World All Star Team. (Note: BOLD indicates first team)

C: Katsuya Nomura-Japan
1B: Sadaharu Oh-Japan
1B: Tetsuharu Kawakami-Japan
1B: Hector Espino-Mexico
1B: Julian Castillo-Cuba
2B: Morimichi Takagi-Japan
3B: Shigeo Nagashima-Japan
3B: Canena Marquez-P.R.
SS: Yoshio Yoshida-Japan
SS: Perucho Cepeda-P.R.
SS: Silvio Garcia-Cuba

Cristobal Torriente-Cuba
Francisco “Pancho” Coimbre-P.R.
Bernardo Baro-Cuba
Yutaka Fukumoto-Japan
Tetelo Vargas-D.R.
Alejandro Oms-Cuba
Isao Harimoto-Japan

Jose Mendez-Cuba
Masaichi Kaneda-Japan
Eusatquio Pedroso-Cuba
Luis Padron-Cuba
Tetsuya Yoneda-Japan
Diomedes Olivo-D.R.
Ramon Arano (1959-95)-Mexico
Alfredo Ortiz (1963-87)-Mexico
Kazuhisa Inao-Japan
Masaaki Koyama-Japan
Sun Dong Yol-Korea
Victor Starfin-Japan

Kazuto Tsuruoka -Japan's all time winningest manager with Nankai for 24 seasons.

Future players, who are not yet eligible:
Koji Yamamoto, OF (Japan) - 536 homers (4th), .290 career avg. and .923 OPS; 10 Gold Gloves
Hisashi Yamada, P (Japan)- 284-166; 3 MVPs in a row.

Special International Contribution:
Lefty O’Doul, OF and Manager - Credited with initiating pro baseball in Japan (1932). The first U.S. Major Leaguer to be elected by Japan’s HOF (2001). Played in the inaugural MLB all-star game in 1933. MLB lifetime batting average .349 in brief career.

Descriptions of some of the 30 best…

Katsuya Nomura, C - 4 time MVP, 657 HRs (2nd in Japan behind Oh)

Sadaharu Oh, 1B - 9 time Japanese MVP. More details: The Case for Sadaharu Oh and the Hall of Fame

Tetsuharu "God of Hitting" Kawakami, 1B – Won 3 MVPs in Japan; .313 lifetime average (5th )

Shigeo Nagashima, 3B - 5 time Japanese MVP

Isao Harimoto, OF – all time Japanese hits leader with 3,085 and .319 lifetime avg. (3rd); 504 HRs (6th) and 4th in career RBIs

Yutaka Fukumoto, CF - all time Japanese SB leader with 1,065 (safe 78.1%); hit 208 HRs; won 12 Gold Gloves

Cristóbal Torriente, CF and LHP –.352. Lifetime average in Cuba and roughly .334 in the Negro Leagues. Great fielding range and arm. Led in SBs 3 times and HRs 4 times. Batted .402 in 1916. C.I. Taylor, longtime manager and Negro League executive, said, "If I should see Torriente walking up the other side of the street, I would say, `there walks a ball club.'"

Alejandro Oms, OF & RHP –.351 lifetime avg in Cuba and roughly .325 in Negro Leagues. Won three batting crowns in Cuba and once led in SBs. Top defensive Venezuelan OF in 1943. Played in championships for 4 different teams.

Masaaki Koyama, P – 3rd in Wins; 320-232 record in Japan; 3rd in strikeouts with 3,061

Masaichi Kaneda, P - Japan’s greatest pitcher, 400 game winner (1st), 2.34 era, 3,388 Ks (1st);

Victor Starfin, P - 303 wins in Japan with 2.09 career era (5th)

Kazuhisa Inao, P – 1.98 era, .668 pct, 2,574 K’s

Sun Dong Yol, P - ERA ranged from 1.70 to 0.78 before he switched to relief and led all Korean’s in saves. Five-time leader in K’s.

Jose Mendez, RHP, Infielder and playing Manager – In 1909, he was 44-2 for the Cuban Stars (some games were against semi pro teams). Led the Monarchs to 3 straight Negro National League pennants (1923-25) as a player manager. His was 20-4, with 7 saves over that span. John Henry Lloyd said he never saw a better pitcher.


The Case for Sadaharu Oh and the Hall of Fame

Also Read:
Jim Albright - Japanese Players: What's Best for Cooperstown?Comparing Negro League All-Timers to Japanese All-timers Who Have Been the Top Players in Cuba in the Castro Era? Summarized Cases for Cooperstown of Five Great NPB Position Players
Eric Gartman (baseball business) - Rating the Top Baseball Players of all Time: The Extrapolation Method (updated to include 2006 season)
Michael Hoban (Great player analysis) - Pitchers with Hall of Fame Numbers Position Players with Hall of Fame Numbers The NEWS Hall of Fame Monitor
Bruce Baskin (Latin Baseball) - Maestros of Mexico: Hector Espino and others
John B. Holway (esteemed and widely published Negro Leagues expert) - My Hall of Fame Ballot Japanese in Cooperstown?

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