Fumio Fujimura

Last updated
Fumio Fujimura
藤村 富美男
Fumio Fujimura 1948.jpg
Osaka Tigers – No. 10
Infielder, Pitcher, Manager
Born:(1916-08-14)August 14, 1916
Kure, Hiroshima, Japan
Died: May 28, 1992(1992-05-28) (aged 75)
Batted: RightThrew: Right
Japanese Baseball League debut
1936, for the  Osaka Tigers
Last Nippon Professional Baseball appearance
1958, for the  Osaka Tigers
Career hitting statistics
Batting average .300
Hits 1,694
Home runs 224
Runs batted in 1,126
Career pitching statistics
Win–loss record 34-11
ERA 2.43
Strikeouts 183
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the Japanese
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg
Induction1974

Fumio Fujimura(藤村 富美男,Fujimura Fumio, August 14, 1916 – May 28, 1992) was a Japanese baseball infielder and pitcher who played 22 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from 1936 to 1958. He began his career as a stellar right-handed pitcher for the Osaka Tigers, but achieved his greatest fame as a hitter.

Nippon Professional Baseball baseball league representing the highest level of professional baseball in Japan

Nippon Professional Baseball or NPB is the highest level of baseball in Japan. Locally, it is often called Puro Yakyū (プロ野球), meaning Professional Baseball. Outside Japan, it is often just referred to as "Japanese baseball". The roots of the league can be traced back to the formation of the "Greater Japan Tokyo Baseball Club" in Tokyo, founded 1934 and the original circuit for the sport in the Empire two years later - Japanese Baseball League (1936-1949), and surprisingly even continued to play through the dark years of total warfare with Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and intervening in the Chinese Civil War in 1937 with the wider Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), and into the greater World War II (1939-1945).

Contents

A superstitious player, Fujimura never hurt insects or shaved before games, although hot-tempered, as he was once suspended for physically abusing an umpire. [1] In 1950, Fujimura set the single-season record with 191 base hits. This record remained unbroken for 44 years, until Ichiro Suzuki surpassed it in 1994. Fujimura was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. His number "10" has been retired by the Hanshin Tigers.

Ichiro Suzuki Japanese baseball player

Ichiro Suzuki, often referred to mononymously as Ichiro, is a Japanese former professional baseball outfielder who played 28 seasons combined in top-level professional leagues. He spent the bulk of his career with two teams: nine seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan, where he began his career, and 14 with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States. After playing the first 12 years of his MLB career for the Mariners, Ichiro played two and a half seasons with the New York Yankees before signing with the Miami Marlins. Ichiro played three seasons with the Marlins before returning to the Mariners in 2018. Ichiro established a number of batting records, including MLB's single-season record for hits with 262. He achieved 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any player in history. Between his major league career in both Japan and the United States, Ichiro has the most hits by any player in top-tier professional leagues. He also has recorded the most hits of all Japanese-born players in MLB history.

Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Professional sports hall of fame in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, Japan

The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum which includes a library, reference rooms and Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hanshin Tigers Japanese baseball team

The Hanshin Tigers are a Nippon Professional Baseball team playing in the Central League. The team is based in Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, and are owned by Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc.

Biography

High school

In the 1933 National High School Baseball Championship, Fujimura's team Taishō reached the quarterfinals, but Masao Yoshida of Chukyo Shogyo pitched a shutout in the game.

Masao Yoshida was a Japanese amateur pitcher originally from Ichinomiya, Aichi. He had 23 wins at Spring and Summer Koshien. In the National High School Baseball Championship between 1931 and 1933, he won 14 consecutive games at Koshien Stadium and he became the only pitcher to win three consecutive championships.

In the finale of the 1934 National High School Baseball Championship, Fujimura faced Tetsuharu Kawakami and struck him out three times in three at-bats. Fujimura's team won the championship.

Tetsuharu Kawakami baseball player

Tetsuharu Kawakami was a Japanese baseball player and manager, known for his red bat, and his nickname 打撃の神様. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.

Osaka/Hanshin Tigers

Fujimura debuted with the Osaka Tigers in 1936, the inaugural season of the Japanese Baseball League. He split his time between pitcher and second base. After initially being a starting pitcher, he generally pitched in a relief role thereafter. Fujimura missed five seasons in the JBL because of military service during World War II.

The Japanese Baseball League was a professional baseball league in Japan which operated from 1936–1949, before reorganizing in 1950 as Nippon Professional Baseball.

Fujimura acted as the Tigers' player-manager in 1946, leading them to a 59-46 record. That was also the last year he spent significant time pitching, going 13-2 with a 2.44 ERA.

With a stat line of 46 home runs, 142 RBI, and a .332 average, Fujimura was the Most Valuable Player in 1949, the last season before the JBL reorganized into Nippon Professional Baseball.

In 1950 Fujimura led the Central League with a .362 batting average (and setting the single-season hits record), and was a Best Nine Award-winner at third base. In 1953 Fujimura led the Central League in home runs and RBI, with 27 and 98 respectively.

As a pitcher, Fujimura compiled an astounding winning percentage of .756. He hit for the cycle twice, once during the single-league era (in 1948) and once in the current dual-league era, the only player to do that. [2] As a hitter, Fujimura finished his career with 1,694 hits, 224 home runs, and 1,126 RBI, with a lifetime .300 batting average. He was selected a Best Nine Award-winner three times at third base.

After his playing career, Fujimura returned to manage the Tigers in 1955–1957.

Fujimura was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Jim Albright, an expert on Japanese professional baseball, ranks Fujimura as among the top players in NPB history [1] and possibly worthy of induction to Cooperstown. [3]

Outside baseball

Fujimura appeared as an actor in the jidaigeki drama Shin Hissatsu Shiokinin in 1977.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Albright, Jim. "Japan's Top Players," BabseballGuru.com. Accessed March 31, 2015.
  2. サイクルヒット達成者 (in Japanese). Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  3. Albright, Jim. "Who Else From NPB Might Be Worthy of Cooperstown?," BaseballGuru.com. Accessed March 31, 2015.
Awards
Preceded by
Kazuto Yamamoto
Japanese Baseball League MVP
1949
Succeeded by
Makoto Kozuru
and Kaoru Betto