Sachio Kinugasa

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Sachio Kinugasa
Third baseman
Born: (1947-01-18) January 18, 1947 (age 67)
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
NPB: May 16, 1965 for the Hiroshima Carp
Last professional appearance
October 22, 1987 for the Hiroshima Carp
NBP statistics
Batting average .270
Hits 2543
Runs batted in 1448
Home runs 504
Total bases 4474
Stolen Bases 266
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Records

  • 2215-Consecutive Games (1970-1987)
  • 20-years consecutive seasons over 10 Home runs (1968-1987)
  • 13-years consecutive seasons over 20 Home runs (1974-1986)
  • 5-consecutive games Home runs (June 6–10, 1971)
  • 1x Hitting for the cycle (July 7, 1976)
  • 2-Hit by pitches in the same inning (August 31, 1976)
  • 2-consecutive games Lead-off home runs (October 4–5, 1977)
Member of the Japanese
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Inducted 1996

Sachio Kinugasa (衣笠 祥雄, born January 18, 1947 in Kyoto, Japan) is a former Japanese baseball player with Hiroshima Carp. He is nicknamed Tetsujin, meaning "Iron Man".

Kinugasa passed Lou Gehrig's world record for consecutive games played in 1987. This record was later broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1996.

He was inducted into the Japanese baseball hall of fame in 1996.

Professional career[edit]

Kinugasa entered the Heian high school in Kyoto, and advanced to the Japanese National High School Baseball Championship twice in his senior year as a catcher. He was signed by the Hiroshima Carp in 1965, and spent several years in the minors before being converted to first base in 1968. He became the team's regular first baseman, hitting 21 home runs with a .276 batting average. In 1975, he moved to third base at the suggestion of manager Joe Lutz, and his efforts helped the Hiroshima Carp win their first ever league championship. He led the league in stolen bases in 1976, and won the MVP award in 1984 as his team won the Japanese championship series. Kinugasa's solid hitting and defense made him one of the central players of the Carp's golden age in the late 70s and early 80s.

His jersey number (28, later changed to 3) gave him the nickname, Tetsujin (Iron Man), after the robot comic "Tetsujin 28" (Known as Gigantor in the United States). Kinugasa was worthy of his nickname, playing in games even when he was badly injured. His consecutive game streak began in October, 1970, and ended when he retired in 1987, passing Lou Gehrig's record in the major leagues to become the world record. His streak of 2215 consecutive games played was broken in 1996 by Cal Ripken, Jr., who played in 2632 straight games in the major leagues.

Post Retirement[edit]

Kinugasa was given the People's Honour Award for his performance in the professional leagues. He and Sadaharu Oh are the only baseball players to have received the award. His jersey number (3) was retired by the Carp in 1987.

Kinugasa currently writes baseball related articles for newspapers, and sometimes appears on variety television shows. His eldest son, Tomoaki, has had a successful career as an actor.

He is mostly remembered for his consecutive game streak, but he ranks 7th in career home runs (504), 5th in career hits (2543), and 10th in career RBIs (1448), showing that he was one of the most consistent hitters in Japanese baseball.

There is a baseball stadium in Nagasaki named after Kinugasa.

Statistics[edit]

Year Team No. GP AB R H 2H 3H HR RBI TB BB SB K BA Titles
1965 Hiroshima 28 28 44 3 7 1 0 1 2 11 0 0 4 .159
1966 Hiroshima 28 32 34 3 5 3 1 0 2 10 6 1 9 .147
1967 Hiroshima 28 28 48 6 12 2 0 2 5 20 4 1 13 .250
1968 Hiroshima 28 127 395 52 109 19 2 21 58 195 65 11 76 .276
1969 Hiroshima 28 126 428 43 107 12 0 15 46 164 51 32 73 .250
1970 Hiroshima 28 126 406 44 102 10 3 19 57 175 50 13 81 .251
1971 Hiroshima 28 130 460 72 131 18 2 27 82 234 79 12 71 .285
1972 Hiroshima 28 130 498 67 147 18 1 29 99 254 61 12 77 .295
1973 Hiroshima 28 130 454 52 94 12 1 19 53 165 68 6 73 .207
1974 Hiroshima 28 130 471 72 119 10 1 32 86 227 54 7 78 .253
1975 Hiroshima 3 130 479 66 132 22 1 21 71 219 49 18 61 .276 Best 9, League Champion
1976 Hiroshima 3 130 522 82 158 26 2 26 69 264 41 31 84 .299 SB
1977 Hiroshima 3 130 514 88 136 22 2 25 67 237 59 28 81 .265
1978 Hiroshima 3 130 461 81 123 18 1 30 87 233 80 9 83 .267
1979 Hiroshima 3 130 410 82 114 21 2 20 57 199 64 15 72 .278 League Champion, Japan Series Champion
1980 Hiroshima 3 130 489 79 144 20 0 31 85 257 52 16 89 .294 Gold Glove Award, Best 9, League Champion, Japan Series Champion
1981 Hiroshima 3 130 495 82 134 23 2 30 72 251 48 7 83 .271
1982 Hiroshima 3 130 483 74 135 22 0 29 74 244 12 89 .280
1983 Hiroshima 3 130 496 86 145 25 1 27 84 253 54 8 53 89 .292
1984 Hiroshima 3 130 490 79 161 25 1 31 102 281 39 11 83 .329 MVP, RBI, Gold Glove Award, Best 9, Matsutaro-Shoriki Award, League Champion, Japan Series Champion
1985 Hiroshima 3 130 480 77 140 16 0 28 83 240 49 10 77 .292
1986 Hiroshima 3 130 477 42 98 11 0 24 59 181 39 4 80 .205 Gold Glove Award, League Champion
1987 Hiroshima 3 130 370 40 92 17 0 17 48 160 26 2 61 .249 National Prize of Honour
TOTALS - 2677 9404 1371 2543 373 23 504 1448 4474 1092 266 1587 .270 -

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Tatsuro Hirooka
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize
1984
Succeeded by
Randy Bass
Preceded by
Kōichi Tabuchi
Matsutaro Shoriki Award
1984
Succeeded by
Yoshio Yoshida