Nomura in 1959
|Born: June 29, 1935|
Kyōtango, Kyoto, Japan
|June 17, 1954, for the Nankai Hawks|
|October 3, 1980, for the Seibu Lions|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Japanese|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Katsuya Nomura (野村 克也 Nomura Katsuya, born June 29, 1935 in Amino, Takeno District (Present: Kyotango), Kyoto prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese former Nippon Professional Baseball catcher. Katsuya in his career was one of Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) greatest catchers. He also served as manager of the Yakult Swallows for eight seasons, led the Hanshin Tigers for three years, and skippered the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for four seasons. With 657 home runs and 1988 RBI, Nomura ranks number two on the career NPB lists in both categories, behind Sadaharu Oh. Nomura was elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
He lost his father at the age of three years, and his mother and brother raised him in poverty. He never made it to the national baseball tournaments in high school, but he was given a chance to play for the Nankai Hawks as a trainee without salary.
During a career that spanned four decades from 1954 to 1980, Nomura hit 657 home runs and led the Pacific League in homers eight straight seasons. (However, it should be taken into consideration that his home park, Osaka Stadium, measured only 276 feet down the lines until 1972, and 300 feet from 1972 onward, and 380 feet to straightaway center—tiny dimensions by Major League Baseball standards.) He finished his career with 2901 hits.
In 1965, Nomura won the league's first Triple Crown. He was a player-manager between 1970 and 1977. He played for 26 years, the longest NPB playing career until Kimiyasu Kudo pitched in his 27th season in 2008.
Besides managing the Hawks from 1970 to 1977, Nomura steered the Yakult Swallows to four league titles in the 1990s, and won the Japan Series in 1993, 1995 and 1997. One of his most important contributions to player development was working with Atsuya Furuta to be a great catcher. Furuta was the Central League MVP in 1993 and became player-manager of the Swallows in 2006–07, joining Nomura as the only players in NPB history to win an MVP award and also serve as a player-manager.
Nomura was hired to manage an industrial league team, Shidax Baseball Club, in 2003. He led the team through the 2005 season. Nomura returned to the NPB as a manager for the 2006 season with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In so doing, he became the oldest manager in the history of NPB.
On April 29, 2009, he reached the 1,500 win mark in his managerial career, but he also holds the all-time record for number of losses.
Prior to taking on the job of managing the Hanshin Tigers, Nomura also appeared on the Japanese cooking show Iron Chef as a guest judge in a handful of episodes, including one of Masaharu Morimoto's first episodes in the King Crab battle.
In 2013, he played a funny character named "Boyaite-Bakkari-Man" in commercial message of Japanese soccer lottery.
- List of top Nippon Professional Baseball home run hitters
- List of Nippon Professional Baseball players with 1,000 runs batted in
- JapaneseBaseball.com, Michael Westbay /. "Undergoing Renovation - Japanese Baseball". japanesebaseball.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- "Triple Crown - BR Bullpen". www.baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- JapaneseBaseball.com, Michael Westbay /. "Undergoing Renovation - Japanese Baseball". www.japanesebaseball.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- "Sachiyo Nomura indicted over tax evasion". The Japan Times. 2001-12-27. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- "Katsuya Nomura - BR Bullpen". www.baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.