July 12, 1957 |
Soo, Kagoshima, Japan
|September 16, 1976, for the Hiroshima Carp|
|Last NPB appearance|
|August 21, 1994, for the Hiroshima Carp|
|Highest win rate||81.8% (18-4) (1986)|
|Win rate average||60.2%|
|Earned run average||3.67|
As pitching coach
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Japanese|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Manabu Kitabeppu (北別府 学 Kitabeppu Manabu?), (July 12, 1957 in Soo, Kagoshima, Japan) is a Japanese former professional baseball pitcher, the first-round draft pick of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in 1975 and one of the most famous Japanese right-handed pitchers. He was known as the "Precision Machine" (精密機械 Seimutsu-Kikai?) because from his perfect control pitching, and his nickname was Pei-San (ペイさん).
He struggled his first few seasons, then went 17-11 with a 3.58 ERA to make his first All-Star team in 1979. It was the first of five consecutive All-Star picks for Kitabeppu, who helped the team to a Japan Series title in 1980.
In 1982 Kitabeppu went 20-8 with a 2.43 ERA, easily his best year to that point. He led the Central League with 267.3 innings, won the most games on the mound and was fourth in ERA. He won his first Eiji Sawamura Award that season and also was named to the Best Nine.
His streak of All-Star selections ended in 1984, though he continued to pitch well in '84 and '85. In 1986 Kitabeppu had his best season, going 18-4 with a 2.43 ERA. He led the circuit once again in victories, won his only ERA crown, led in complete games (17) and shutouts (4), won his only Gold Glove and in addition to the Best Nine and Sawamura, won his only MVP award as the Carp returned to the Japan Series, but failed to win.
Kitabeppu again was an All-Star in '88 but posted losing records from '87 through '89, once with an ERA of 5.48. The former star allowed the most runs in 1988 (87) and the most homers (22). The next season he again surrendered the most home runs, also 22. In 1989 he was in the minor leagues for the first time in his career.
He emerged resurgent from his trials and after a decent season in 1990, in 1991 he went 11-4 with a 3.38 ERA. He made his seventh All-Star team in 1992, with 14 wins in 22 decisions, and a 2.58 ERA. It was his lowest ERA and most victories since his MVP season of '86. The Carp made their third Japan Series of the Kitabeppu era, but lost to the Seibu Lions. Still just 34, Kitabeppu reached 200 career wins.
It was his last good season – he would pitch 24 more games, going 9-9, with ERAs over 5 each time, before retiring. His career line with Hiroshima was 213-141 with a 3.67 ERA.
Since Kitabeppu, only one pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball (Kimiyasu Kudoh) has reached 200 victories. Kitabeppu ranks 17th all-time in wins, 20th in innings (3,113), 26th in strikeouts (1,757), 9th in hits allowed (3,225) and 4th in homers surrendered (380, the Central League record).
After retiring, Kitabeppu became an announcer and then the pitching coach for the Carp.
- 1st pitch, September 16, 1976
- 1st win, October 12, 1976
- MVP in the Japanese Central League, 1986
- Eiji Sawamura Award winner, 1982 and 1986
- Greatest Number of Wins, 1982 and 1986
- Best Winning Average, 1980, 1981 and 1991
- Best ERA, 1986
- Best Nine of the year, 1982 and 1986
- Gold Glove Award winner, 1986
- Japan All-star game, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1992
- Hiroshima Prefectural Prize of Honour, 1994
- 213 W, 5 S, 135 CG, 28 Shutouts and 1757 K.
- Hiroshima Carp Pitching Coach from 2001 to 2004
|1979||Hiroshima||20||36||17||11||0||215.2||155||3.58||League Champion, Japan Series Champion|
|1980||Hiroshima||20||30||12||5||0||177.2||82||4.04||Best Winning Average, League Champion, Japan Series Champion|
|1981||Hiroshima||20||32||16||10||0||226.1||123||3.31||Best Winning Average|
|1982||Hiroshima||20||36||20||8||0||267.1||184||2.43||Sawamura Award winner, Greatest Number of Wins, Best 9|
|1984||Hiroshima||20||32||13||8||2||203.2||99||3.31||League Champion, Japan Series Champion|
|1986||Hiroshima||20||30||18||4||0||230.0||123||2.43||MVP, Sawamura Award winner, Greatest Number of Wins, Best ERA, Best 9, Gold Glove Award, League Champion|
|1991||Hiroshima||20||25||11||4||0||141.1||73||3.38||Best Winning Average, League Champion|