Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame Inducts Hiroki Kuroda, Motonobu Tanishige, Tomoichi Tanimura

Hiroki Kuroda of the New York Yankees in action against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 23, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, catcher Motonobu Tanishige, and former late umpire Tomoichi Tanimura were inducted to Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame on January 18. 

Kuroda played for the Hiroshima Carp from 1997 to 2007 before going to the United States to play with the Dodgers from 2008-11 and the New York Yankees from 2012-14. He returned to Japan to play two seasons with the Carp in 2015 and 2016. 

Kuroda was a five-time All-Star in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Hiroshima Carp in 2001, 2005-2007 and 2015. Kuroda won the Best Nine award and the Golden Glove award in NPB in 2005 and played for the Japanese national team at the 2004 Olympics, winning the bronze medal. 

During Kuroda’s career in NPB, he posted a lifetime record of 124-105 posting a 3.55 ERA throwing 2,021 innings in 321 appearances, 270 starts, 15 shutouts, and one save. Kuroda allowed 2,016 hits, 797 earned runs, 204 home runs, 504 walks, 1,041 strikeouts, and a 1.246 WHIP. 

Tanishige played 27 seasons in NPB with the Yokohama Taiyo Whales/Yokohama BayStars from 1989 to 2001 and the Chunichi Dragons from 2002-15. Tanishige was also a player/manager for the Chunichi Dragons in 2014-15 before transitioning to a full-time role as manager during the 2016 season. 

Tanishige’s 27 seasons in NPB is the most by any player in league history, and played in 3,021 games which is an all-time record. 

Tanishige won two Japan Series titles, the first in 1998 with the Yokohama BayStars and the other in 2007 with the Chunichi Dragons. Tanishige was a 12-time NPB All-Star and won the Best-Nine award in 1998 and the NPB Glove Award in 1998, 2006-2007, 2009, 2011, and 2012. 

Tanishige was the oldest player in NPB at 43 years old during the 2014 season to be elected to the All-Star Game.  

Tanimura was born on August 22, 1927  in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, and passed away on July 31, 2022 in Kawanishi, Hyogo, Japan.

Tanimura umpired in 3,062 games from 1959 through 1986. Tanimura umpired in the NPB All-Star Game in 1965, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1979. Tanimura also umpired in the Japan Series in 1970, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, and 1983.

Takeji Nakano, Saburo Yokozawa, Hisanori Karita, Minoru Yamashita, Yutaka Ikeda, Nobuaki Nidegawa, and Hidenosuke Shima are the seven other umpires in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. 

The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame elects players and umpires from the professional leagues in Japan. 

The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame is located in the Tokyo Dome. The Japanese Hall of Fame opened in 1959 near the Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo. That stadium was demolished after the 1987 season and the Hall of Fame moved to the Tokyo Dome in 1988.

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