After the Mid-Season hiatus, we now return to the Power League UL box break.
Takeshi Hidaka - still catching for Orix, only now for the Buffaloes and on a part-time basis. Hit .279 in 79 games this past season and earned free agency for the second time in his career.
Takeshi Hidaka @ NPB Official Website
Hiroshi Gondoh - in 2000, the manager of the Yokohama BayStars. In 1961, Gondoh was the recipient of the Eiji Sawamura Award, the NPB equivilent of the Cy Young Award. While it's well established that Major League pitchers used to throw a lot more innings than they do today, they couldn't hold a candle to the mileage of Japanese pitchers. Gondoh, a starter, appeared in 69 games in 1961, winning 35, completing 32. Across those 69 games, Gondoh pitched 429.1 innings with an extremely stingy 1.70 ERA. That's FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE. The Major League leader in innings pitched in 1961 was Whitey Ford with 283. This season's leader, was naturally iron man Roy Halladay with 250.2 IP. The last time anyone threw over 400 innings in the Major Leagues was in 1908 when Ed Walsh pitched in an insane 464 innings (with a ridiculous 1.42 ERA), but that was also the dead ball era and the spitball was still legal.
Jun Inoue - part time outfielder with the Yokohama BayStars. Over the course of his career, he never played more than 83 games in a season. Granted I'm not doing any research here, but he seemed worth more than that, hitting over .300 several times. Unless he was just injury prone, he seems to have been given the short end of the stick in his career.
Makoto Shiozaki - another Orix mainstay, playing with the BlueWave since 1997, and stuck with the Buffaloes after the team merger. Only played a handful of full seasons, so he looks to be a utility infielder.
Makoto Shiozaki @ NPB Official Website
Nobuhiko Matsunaka - One of NPB's heavy hitters, seen here with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. He would stay with the Hawks as the team changed ownership and became the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2005. This is his card from the Super Rare insert set. Matsunaka's power output peaked at 46 homeruns in 2005, but has dimmed somewhat over the past five seasons. He missed a chunk of the 2010 season to a wrist injury.
Nobuhiko Matsunaka @ NPB Official Website
Hiroshi Shibahara - outfielder with the Hawks since 1997.
Hiroshi Shibahara @ NPB Official Website
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