August 1, 1968 |
Kakogawa, Hyōgo, Japan
|NPB: April 11, 1991 for the Orix BlueWave|
|MLB: April 6, 1997 for the Anaheim Angels|
|Last professional appearance|
|NPB: 1996 for the Orix BlueWave|
|MLB: September 28, 2005 for the Seattle Mariners|
|Earned run average||3.33|
|Earned run average||3.71|
|Career highlights and awards|
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (長谷川 滋利 Hasegawa Shigetoshi?, born August 1, 1968 in Kakogawa, Hyōgo, Japan) is a retired relief pitcher in Major League Baseball and best-selling author and Japanese television personality. He achieved the most recognition when he played for the Seattle Mariners from 2002 through 2005. Previously, Hasegawa played with the Anaheim Angels (1997–2001), and before that spent six years with the Orix BlueWave. He bats and throws right-handed.
Hasegawa was drafted in the first round by the Orix BlueWave in 1990. He won 12 games in his rookie year, and received the Japanese Rookie of the Year Award in 1991. He was a teammate of Ichiro Suzuki in Japan, and won two championships with the Orix BlueWave.
Hasegawa was purchased by the Anaheim Angels in January 1997, and pitched well as a setup man. He signed with the Seattle Mariners on January 14, 2002. In 2003, Hasegawa was named to the All-Star team as a middle reliever and ended up converting 16 of 17 saves at the end of the year when Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki was injured. He concluded the season with a 1.48 ERA in 63 relief appearances.
Hasegawa was not offered a contract by the Mariners after the 2005 season, On January 23, 2006, he announced his retirement despite receiving several offers from Major League and Japanese league teams. In his nine-season MLB career, Hasegawa compiled a 45–44 record with 33 saves and a 3.71 ERA in 517 games. He holds the record for most appearances by an Asian pitcher in Major League Baseball ahead of Hideo Nomo. Hasegawa was known for releasing the ball very quickly, throwing off the batter's timing. He was very durable, spending time on the disabled list only once in nine years in the majors.
Hasegawa explained that he did not move to the U.S. to play in the majors; he entered the majors because he wanted to live in the U.S. He has since obtained permanent residence in the U.S. He speaks fluent English, even interviewing teammates on an American television show, and he introduced himself in English at his first press conference in the U.S. He has also published a book in Japan with tips on improving English language skills.
Hasegawa is rumored to have been the only Major League player ever to read the Wall Street Journal in the locker room. Teammate Ichiro Suzuki commented jokingly that Hasegawa tried to talk to teammates about stocks and business during practice sessions.
In addition to selling real estate in Irvine, California, Hasegawa frequently appears on baseball-related television shows in Japan, and is a commentator for major league games shown in Japan on NHK.
- http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/news_story.asp?ID=152011[dead link]
- Neel, Eric. "Could one of these guys be your team's next manager?" ESPN Magazine, 17 June 2008.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Japanese league stats and info of Shigetoshi Hasegawa