May 10, 1918|
|Died: April 26, 1997
|1942, for the Tokyo Kyojin|
|Last NPB appearance|
|1955, for the Yomiuri Giants|
|Earned run average||1.90|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Japanese|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Hideo Fujimoto (藤本 英雄 Fjimoto Hideo?) (also known as Hideo Nakagami) (May 10, 1918 – April 26, 1997) was a Japanese baseball pitcher. He holds the Japanese records for lowest career ERA (1.90) and seasonal ERA (0.73), as well as best all-time winning percentage (.697). During his career, which spanned the one-league and two-league era, he played for the Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants and the Chunichi Dragons. He was the player-manager of the Giants in 1944 and part of 1946 (the league cancelled all games in 1945 because of the Pacific War).
In 1943, he enjoyed one of the greatest seasons ever by a pitcher in Japan. He won 34 games for the Kyojin, leading the league in wins, complete games (39), innings (432-2/3) and strikeouts (253). He threw a Japanese-record 19 shutouts and set the single-season mark for ERA at 0.73. In May 1943 he also pitched his first no-hitter, defeating Nagoya. Between August and September he threw a record six straight shutouts, going 61-2/3 innings without allowing a run, and 100 innings without allowing an earned run. That year he changed his name to Hideo Nakagami.
In 1944, in addition to pitching and managing, Nakagami occasionally played outfield. (He also spent significant time in the outfield in 1948.) Nakagami was a good hitter for someone who primarily played pitcher, hitting .245 with 15 career home runs (including 7 round-trippers in 1950).
In 1946, Nakagami led the Japanese Baseball League in earned run average, with a mark of 2.11.
Nakagami played for the Chunichi Dragons for one season in 1947, winning 17 games with a 1.83 ERA and 27 complete games.
In 1949, Nakagami went 24-7 with a 1.94 ERA and 29 complete games, winning the ERA title and the Eiji Sawamura Award.
He was the winning pitcher in games 1 and 5 (the clinching game) in the 1951 Japan Series, as the Giants beats the Nankai Hawks 4-games-to-1. He picked up a win the 1952 Japan Series (as well as hitting a home run) as the Giants were again champions, defeating the Hawks 4-games-to-2. Nakagami won another game in the 1953 Japan Series, as the Giants defeated the Hawks for the championship for the third year in a row.
After his playing career, he coached for the Giants and managed in the Japanese minor leagues, Later, he managed in the industrial leagues. He also worked as the Los Angeles correspondent for Yomiuri Shimbun.
Fujimoto/Nakagami was elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from JapaneseBaseball.com