Remembering Mashi: Japan’s Jackie


With Daisuke Matsuzaka set to join the BoSox, now seems a good time to remember the sadly forgotten and quite amazing story of Masanori “Mashi” Murakami, the first Japanese player to pitch in the Majors. In 1964 and 1965, he was a dominating force for the San Francisco Giants. Alas, he did not remain in the US, and it would be 30 years before another Japanese player followed his path. The future looks quite a bit brighter for misters Matsuzaka and Igawa.

8 comments… add one
  • Any relation to famed artist Takashi Murakami?

    SF December 14, 2006, 7:30 am
  • turning to matsuzaka, during the coverage last night, one (terrible) local newscast mentioned that matsuzaka’s wife is a sports reporter.
    my first thought was that she’d end up working for NESN, covering the team in japanese, and would be paid about $4M per year, essentially bypassing payroll/luxury tax issues.
    am i paranoid?
    or am i a genius?

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 14, 2006, 8:28 am
  • It’s like waking up the day after Christmas and knowing it’s going to be a long time before you get a bunch of presents again.
    I don’t think the BP help or closer search is going to be nearly as exciting.

    LocklandSF December 14, 2006, 9:14 am
  • Is there even a FA closer left? I believe the Sox are now in a position where Theo has to get creative and package a trade for a legit stopper, no? Hell, there’s always Timlin. If he is able to pitch pain free in 2007 (unlike most of 2006), and with no pre-season WBC he could be a valid option for closer.

    bloodyank78 December 14, 2006, 10:00 am
  • BY, I’m kind of hoping they reach an agreement with Foulke. He looked pretty good at the end of last season, and he’s certainly got the stones for the job.
    That being said, him giving a team out west a “hometown” discount wouldn’t be surprising. I would guess his most likely destination is Arizona.
    I’m guessing they will go into Spring Training with a number of “candidates”. None of the trade proposals I’ve seen are very favorable. And they really shouldn’t be: The rest of the league should know they would have us over a barrel in a trade for a closer. WMP for Cordero, with the Sox throwing in an additional prospect? Coco for Gonzalez? These kind of trades could help in the now, but if WMP hits 35 HRs with 100+ RBIs in Washington, it’d be hard to say we got the better end.
    Another idea I’m not entirely opposed to is the oft-speculated/reported/leaked Devern Hansack idea. Guy looked good at the end of last season, and sometimes closers are found in the strangest places.

    QuoSF December 14, 2006, 10:36 am
  • I’d do Coco and prospect for Mike Gonzalez. Good numbers, and he’s under 30. I’d rather Coco go than WMP, even though I like them both.

    Paul SF December 14, 2006, 12:22 pm
  • Devern Hansack? I still don’t get that idea. He’s pitched a total of 10 innings in the majors. All that talk about DiceK getting too much money for someone has never pitched in the US and now some want the closer to be a truly unproven commodity?
    It’s not good enough, this is the Red Sox we are talking about not Florida.

    SoxSpot December 14, 2006, 1:36 pm
  • “I’d do Coco and prospect for Mike Gonzalez. Good numbers, and he’s under 30. I’d rather Coco go than WMP, even though I like them both.”
    Agreed. Anyway, the thing about Hansack…I don’t know what Boston did to fix him after Houston released him, but he was pretty impressive in AA. (Named the Seadogs 2006 pitcher of the year, too) I don’t necessarily think Boston should bank on him being the answer, but if he impresses in ST he deserves a shot in the pen. And hell, he throws lots of strikes and put up an 8.43 K/9 and 3.44 k/bb in AA as a starter. Maybe he’ll be our Bobby Jenks. Except, you know, not a big fat drunken douchebag whose grades were too bad to play ball in high school. Yeah, I’m not a big Bobby Jenks fan…
    But anyway, Hansack worked as a lobsterman in Nicaragua from 2004-2005. Every team needs a guy who knows his way around a lobster trap…hell, given what he’s been through, he probably has the makeup.

    desturbd1 December 14, 2006, 1:58 pm

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.