September 9, 1976 |
|MLB: June 7, 2003, for the Minnesota Twins|
|NPB: March 29, 2005, for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters|
|July 31, 2004, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Earned run average||7.51|
|Earned run average||2.61|
Micheal Yoshihide Nakamura (マイケル中村 Maikeru Nakamura?, born September 6, 1976) is a Japanese former professional baseball pitcher. He played for the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB), and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Yomiuri Giants, and Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
He was educated at The Knox School and Wesley College, Melbourne.
Nakamura was born to a Japanese father and Australian mother. The family moved to Australia when he was 3 years old, and Micheal later moved to the United States after signing with the Minnesota Twins in 1997. Despite having participated on the Australian Olympic baseball team in 1996 and 2000, Nakamura was not successful in Major League Baseball; he pitched in only 31 games from 1997 to 2004, and never recorded a win. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004, and was not re-signed for the next season. On July 27, 2004, Nakamura surrendered Gary Sheffield's 400th career home run.
After being cut from the majors, Nakamura sought opportunities in Japan and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2004 draft by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, and he debuted against the Seibu Lions on March 29, 2005. He was injured halfway through the year, but ended with a record of 3-0 and a 2.31 ERA over 32 games. He struck out more batters than innings pitched, and did not give up a single run in the second half of the season.
In his second year Nakamura made 39 saves, setting a new Pacific League single-season record, and the Fighters won the Japanese championship series. Nakamura pitched in 4 Japanese championship series games, and did not give up a single hit. He has since been traded from the Fighters and signed for the Yomiuri Giants.
Nakamura retired as a member of the Saitama Seibu Lions after the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Nakamura throws sidearm and relies mostly on two types of curves and a fastball around 90 mph. One of his curves has movement resembling a slider (some commentators have called it a slurve), while the other has a wide break.
- Stockman, Jennifer (2004-12-14). "Michael Nakamura Signs with Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan". Australian Baseball Federation. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "Sheffield's 400th home run". MLB.com. July 27, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2016.