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Katsuya Nomura, 84, a permanent star of Japanese baseball, dies

TOKYO (Reuters) – Katsuya Nomura, a pillar of baseball in Japan, who was one of the country’s greatest soccer hunters, died before spending a long time working as a coach in Tokyo. He was 84.

His son, Don Nomura, said the cause was a heart attack.

In his 26 years as a player and player manager, Nomura has achieved 657 penalty kicks on home soil, and in 1988 there were 1,200 bets, both of which ranked second on the list of champions behind the Grand Sadaharu Oh race. It also collected 2901 hits in 3,017 games, which is also the second highest total in Japan.

Nomura’s best season was in 1965, when he became the first post-war Japanese player Triple crown winsHe runs 42 runs home, driving in 110 runs, beating. 320. He led the Pacific League at home nine times and was the most valuable league player five times.

He was awarded the Best Japanese Baseball Player 19 times and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Japan in 1989.

Despite all his success in this field, Nomura never achieved the reputation of celebrities such as Oh and Shigeo Nagashima, who played in the Tokyo Super Yomori championship in the central league.

Nomura spent most of his days playing with Osaka-based Nankai Hawks. (The team later moved to Fukuoka and is now owned by technology giant SoftBank.) Hawks dominated the less popular Pacific League during most of Nomura’s terms with the club, winning two championships but also losing four times to the Giants.

“When I first met him, he was at home the entire time, but I had never heard of him,” Don Nomura said of his future stepfather. (Katsuya Nomura later adopted Don and his brother Kenneth, sons of his second wife.) “All I knew was O Nagashima, because they were always on TV. I had to go to the library and search for him.”

Nomura grew in position after retiring as a player in 45 in 1980. He became a full-time manager a decade later as a baseball analyst, starting with Yakult Swallows, the permanent cellar dweller who also played under the giants, Crossstown his rivals in Tokyo.

According to Robert Whiting, who has written about baseball in Japan five decades ago, Nomura learned about the use of statistics from his teammate Hawks. Don Plasingame, a former player in St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, who was also a key coach during Nomura’s tenure as player manager, from 1970 to 1977. Nomura used that knowledge to lead Swallows to tournaments in 1993, 1995 and 1997. (He also won a league title Pacific with hawks in 1973.)

After his management in the Japan Industrial League from 2003 to 2005, Nomura returned to the professional ranks in 2006 to manage Rakuten Golden Eagles, who joined the Pacific League the previous season. After three losing seasons, Al Nisour did a job in Nomura’s fourth and final season with the team.

As a manager, he won 1565 games, lost 1563 and drew 76 times.

Nomura was often called the “angry grandfather” because of his cruel and uncomfortable style. Some players felt that hard love helped them.

“Nomura taught me what the pitch is and what baseball is from scratch,” said Masahiro Tanaka, a Yankee player who started his career with Rakuten. “I met Nomura from my first year as a professional when he ordered me that it was the happiest thing in my life in baseball.”

Other players saw the Nomura style differently, especially those who directed personally and in the media. It was also cool for some foreign players, according to Robert Whiting. After taking the swallow, Nomura was fired Larry Parrish, A former baseball football player who has been leading the domestic league for the past year. He was also released Tom O’Malley, Who reached over 0.300 in his two seasons with Yakult. When the Hanshin tiger refused to release Daryl May Jar in 1999, Issued a statement Which accused Nomura of being xenophobic.

Katsuya Nomura was born on June 29, 1935, in the town of Ameno in Kyoto Prefecture near the Sea of ​​Japan. Nomura’s father, who was stationed in China, died when his son was a boy.

After graduating from Minayama High School, Nomura joined Nankai Hawks. He went aimlessly in nine games in 1954, was demoted for a season, and then returned to the best club in 1956.

Nomura had one son, Yuishi, with his first wife. He and his second wife, Sachio, and a boy, Katsunori Nomura, were a spare mask now working with Rakuten. Nomura adopted Sachio’s sons after her marriage. She died in 2017. In addition to his sons, Nomura survived by seven grandchildren.

After retiring from baseball, he became a television analyst and at times overwhelmed his wife, who became famous for her caustic comments.

Baseball remained in his blood until the end.

He once said: “Nomura minus baseball is equal to zero.” “Nothing will remain if I take baseball away from me.”

James Wagner contributed to the reporting.

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