|Head and hitting coach
(former Catcher, First baseman, Designated Hitter / Manager)
September 24, 1946 |
Toshima, Tokyo, Japan
|April 12, 1969, for the Hanshin Tigers|
|1984, for the Seibu Lions|
|Base on balls||823|
|Runs batted in||1135|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kōichi Tabuchi (田淵 幸一 Tabuchi Kōichi?, born September 24, 1946) is a Japanese former professional baseball player, manager, and commentator. During his career, Tabuchi played for the Hanshin Tigers and the Seibu Lions. Tabuchi played catcher for the Hanshin Tigers from 1969 and 1978, where his combination with pitcher Yutaka Enatsu was called the "Golden Battery".
Always a long-range hitter, Tabuchi was nicknamed home run artist because of the high-in-the-sky, long trajectory of his home runs. Although his career total of 474 home runs is far below Sadaharu Oh's 868, his frequency nearly matched Oh's. Tabuchi hit a home run once every 12.41 at-bats, while Oh did once every 10.66. In this statistic he is second only to Oh among sluggers who have logged 300 or more home runs.
Dubbed the "Hosei Trio" of Hosei University baseball team together with teammates Masaru Tomita and Koji Yamamoto, Tabuchi was named the first draft choice in 1968 by the Tigers, although he had commented earlier he would not join any other team than the Yomiuri Giants. Joining the Tigers after all, he appeared in 81 games during the first season, delivering 22 homers, and marked the highest throw-out rate of attempted steals of the year, which enabled him win the Central League's Rookie of the Year.
In a game against Hiroshima Carp on August 26, 1970, Tabuchi was hit in his head and directly onto his left ear at bat. He was badly bleeding from his ear, and was carried to a hospital immediately where he stayed unconscious for two days. He was oblidged to be hospitalized for three months with his left eardrum found severely damaged, missing out the rest of the season. This incident led to the introduction of ear-flapped helmet in Japan. The following year, Tabuchi was for the second time hospitalized for a period over a month, this time shortly before the season and suffering from nephritis that allowed him join the team only in June.
In 1973, Tabuchi marked the league's highest throw-out rate for the second time. In 1974, he blasted more than 40 shots over the fence, ending up at 45 homers, four round-trippers behind Sadaharu Oh.
During Tabuchi's last seasons with the Tigers, he often turned the wrong ways while chasing after foul flies.
After his 1984 retirement, he managed the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and coached the Tigers.
From 1985 to 1989, again from 1993 to 2001, and again beginning in 2004 he has been a commentator for Tokyo Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS). Tabuchi is the head batting coach of the Japan national baseball team.
- Jersey number:
- 22 (1969–1984)
- 81 (1990–1992)
- 88 (2002–2003)
Awards and honors
- Rookie of the year, Central League, 1969
- Home run king, Central League, 1975
- Matsutaro Shoriki Award, 1983
- "NPBオフィシャルオンラインショップ (NPB)". Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Stuffing of All-Star ballot boxes goes back at least 50 years (Japan Times)". Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "阪神・田淵会長、ＯＢにスカウト要請 SANSPO.COM" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "過去のドラフト 第４回(1968年) nikkansports.com". Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "盗塁阻止成績(1967年～)(NPB)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "【８月26日】1970年(昭45) 田淵幸一、流血し昏倒…記憶が飛んだおかげで恐怖なし Sponichi Annex". Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Oh continued to win the title in the following two years, in 1976 and 1977, before retiring in 1980. ("Oh's love for game, people endures (Japan Times)". Retrieved 2010-07-19.)
|Matsutaro Shoriki Award