Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award

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An Asian male wearing a gray uniform with the lettering "NEW YORK" across it, in his after-swing pose.
Hideki Matsui won the 2000 Japan Series MVP with the Yomiuri Giants. He went on to win the 2009 World Series MVP with MLB's New York Yankees.

The Japan Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award (日本シリーズ最高殊勲選手 Nippon Shirīzu Saikō Shukun Senshu?) is given to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance in the Japan Series, which is the final round of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) postseason. The award was first presented in 1950.

The series follows a best-of-seven playoff format and occurs after the two-stage Climax Series. It is played by the winners of the Central League Stage 2 series and the Pacific League Stage 2 series.[1] The most recent champions are the Yomiuri Giants, who won the 2009 series.[2]

Kaoru Betto won the inaugural award in 1950 with the Mainichi Orions. Depending upon definitions, the first non-Japanese to win the award was either Andy Miyamoto in 1961 or Joe Stanka in 1964.[3] Fifteen Japan Series MVPs were inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame;[4] Osamu Higashio (1982) is the only Hall of Famer to have won the Japan Series MVP between 1981 and 2000. Higashio is also the first and only pitcher to appear solely as a reliever to win the Japan Series MVP. Eight of the ten Japan Series MVPs who have won the award since 2000 are still active in professional baseball—Atsuya Furuta and Takashi Ishii are the Japan Series MVPs from that period who are inactive. Hideki Matsui and Norihiro Nakamura are they only two Japan Series MVPs to play in Major League Baseball (MLB). While Nakamura's MLB career lasted less than one season, Matsui is still active. He became the only player to be named both a Japan Series and a World Series MVP after winning the latter award in 2009.[5] The reigning Japan Series MVP is Shinnosuke Abe of the Yomiuri Giants.[2]

Sixteen of the 60 Japan Series MVPs have also won the NPB MVP or the Eiji Sawamura Award in the same season. Shigeru Sugishita (1954), Tsuneo Horiuchi (1972) and Takehiro Ishii (1992) are the only players to have won all three awards in the same season. A total of two players won the Eiji Sawamura Award and the Japan Series MVP in the same season: Takehiko Bessho (1955) and Takashi Nishimoto (1981). Ten players have won the Japan Series MVP in the same season in which they won the NPB MVP: Betto (1950), Bessho (1952), Kazuhisa Inao (1958), Tadashi Sugiura (1959), Shigeo Nagashima (1963), Stanka (1964), Hisashi Yamada (1977), Randy Bass (1985), Tom O'Malley (1995), Furuta (1997) and Matsui (2000).[6][7]

Five players have won the award multiple times. Nagashima has won the most Japan Series MVP awards with four wins (1963, 1965, 1969–1970). The remaining four players all won the award twice: Bessho (1952, 1955), Horiuchi (1972–1973), Kimiyasu Kudoh (1986–1987), Koji Akiyama (1991–1999) and Furuta (1997, 2001); Akiyama is the only player to have won the award with different teams. There has been one occasion on which multiple winners were awarded in the same Japan Series: Masayuki Dobashi and Masayuki Tanemo in 1962.

Pitchers have been named Series MVP 21 times, 13 of which appeared in both starting and relief roles in the Series.

Winners[edit]

Key[edit]

Year Links to the article about that corresponding Japan Series
§
Member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Active player
^
Indicates multiple award winners in the same Japan Series
(#)
Indicates number of times winning Japan Series MVP at that point (if he won multiple times)
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics Note
1950 Betto, KaoruKaoru Betto§ Mainichi Orions Outfielder [8]
1951 Minamimura, YukoYuko Minamimura Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [9]
1952 Bessho, TakehikoTakehiko Bessho§ Yomiuri Giants Pitcher [10]
1953 Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu Kawakami§ Yomiuri Giants First baseman [11]
1954 Sugishita, ShigeruShigeru Sugishita§ Chunichi Dragons Pitcher [12]
1955 Bessho, TakehikoTakehiko Bessho§ (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher [13]
1956 Toyoda, YasumitsuYasumitsu Toyoda§ Nishitetsu Lions Shortstop [14]
1957 Oshita, HiroshiHiroshi Oshita§ Nishitetsu Lions Outfielder [15]
1958 Inao, KazuhisaKazuhisa Inao§ Nishitetsu Lions Pitcher [16]
1959 Sugiura, TadashiTadashi Sugiura§ Nankai Hawks Pitcher [17]
1960 Kondo, AkihitoAkihito Kondo Taiyō Whales Second baseman [18]
1961 Miyamoto, AndyAndy Miyamoto Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [19]
1962^ Dobashi, MasayukiMasayuki Dobashi Toei Flyers Pitcher [20]
1962^ Tanemo, MasayukiMasayuki Tanemo Toei Flyers Catcher [20]
1963 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima§ Yomiuri Giants Third baseman [21]
1964 Stanka, JoeJoe Stanka Nankai Hawks Starting pitcher [22]
1965 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima§ (2) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman [23]
1966 Shibata, IsaoIsao Shibata Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [24]
1967 Mori, MasaakiMasaaki Mori§ Yomiuri Giants Catcher [25]
1968 Takada, ShigeruShigeru Takada Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [26]
1969 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima§ (3) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman [27]
1970 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima§ (4) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman [28]
1971 Suetsugu, ToshimitsuToshimitsu Suetsugu Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [29]
1972 Horiuchi, TsuneoTsuneo Horiuchi§ Yomiuri Giants Pitcher [30]
1973 Horiuchi, TsuneoTsuneo Horiuchi§ (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher [31]
1974 Hirota, SumioSumio Hirota Lotte Orions Outfielder [32]
1975 Yamaguchi, TakashiTakashi Yamaguchi Hankyu Braves Pitcher [33]
1976 Fukumoto, YutakaYutaka Fukumoto§ Hankyu Braves Outfielder [34]
1977 Yamada, HisashiHisashi Yamada§ Hankyu Braves Pitcher [35]
1978 Osugi, KatsuoKatsuo Osugi§ Yakult Swallows First baseman [36]
1979 Takahashi, YoshihikoYoshihiko Takahashi Hiroshima Toyo Carp Shortstop [37]
1980 Lyttle, JimJim Lyttle Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder [38]
1981 Nishimoto, TakashiTakashi Nishimoto Yomiuri Giants Starting pitcher [39]
1982 Higashio, OsamuOsamu Higashio§ Seibu Lions Relief pitcher [40]
1983 Ota, TakujiTakuji Ota Seibu Lions Outfielder [41]
1984 Nagashima, KiyoyukiKiyoyuki Nagashima Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder [42]
1985 Bass, RandyRandy Bass Hanshin Tigers First baseman [43]
1986 Kudoh, KimiyasuKimiyasu Kudoh Seibu Lions Pitcher [44]
1987 Kudoh, KimiyasuKimiyasu Kudoh (2) Seibu Lions Pitcher [45]
1988 Ishige, HiromichiHiromichi Ishige Seibu Lions Shortstop [46]
1989 Komada, NorihiroNorihiro Komada Yomiuri Giants First baseman [47]
1990 Destrade, OrestesOrestes Destrade Seibu Lions First baseman [48]
1991 Akiyama, KojiKoji Akiyama Seibu Lions Outfielder [49]
1992 Ishii, TakehiroTakehiro Ishii Seibu Lions Starting pitcher [50]
1993 Kawasaki, KenjiroKenjiro Kawasaki Yakult Swallows Starting pitcher [51]
1994 Makihara, HiromiHiromi Makihara Yomiuri Giants Starting pitcher [52]
1995 O'Malley, TomTom O'Malley Yakult Swallows First baseman [53]
1996 Neel, TroyTroy Neel Orix BlueWave Infielder [54]
1997 Furuta, AtsuyaAtsuya Furuta Yakult Swallows Catcher [55]
1998 Suzuki, TakanoriTakanori Suzuki Yokohama BayStars Outfielder [56]
1999 Akiyama, KojiKoji Akiyama (2) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks Outfielder [57]
2000 Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui Yomiuri Giants Outfielder [58]
2001 Furuta, AtsuyaAtsuya Furuta (2) Yakult Swallows Catcher [59]
2002 Nioka, TomohiroTomohiro Nioka Yomiuri Giants Shortstop [60]
2003 Sugiuchi, ToshiyaToshiya Sugiuchi Fukuoka Daiei Hawks Starting pitcher [61]
2004 Ishii, TakashiTakashi Ishii Seibu Lions Starting pitcher [62]
2005 Imae, ToshiakiToshiaki Imae Chiba Lotte Marines Third baseman [63]
2006 Inaba, AtsunoriAtsunori Inaba Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Outfielder [64]
2007 Nakamura, NorihiroNorihiro Nakamura Chunichi Dragons Third baseman [65]
2008 Kishi, TakayukiTakayuki Kishi Saitama Seibu Lions Pitcher [66]
2009 Abe, ShinnosukeShinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants Catcher [67]
2010 Imae, ToshiakiToshiaki Imae Chiba Lotte Marines Third baseman
2011 Kokubo, HirokiHiroki Kokubo Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Third baseman
2012 Utsumi, TetsuyaTetsuya Utsumi Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
2013 Mima, ManabuManabu Mima Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles Pitcher
2014 Uchikawa, SeiichiSeiichi Uchikawa Fukuoka Softbank Hawks First baseman

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Coskrey, Jason (November 8, 2009). "Giants scratch seven-year title itch". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
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