Saves in Japan

On Friday, Shingo Takatsu became the third closer to be elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, following Tsunemi Tsuda and Kazuhiro Sasaki. Takatsu was, for a time, Japan’s career saves leader, and is now second with 286 behind future Hall of Famer Hitoki Iwase’s 407.

Takatsu’s support has been slowly building over the years, unlike Sasaki, is third all-time and who shot in with relative ease. I mentioned Tsuda, but his selection was a sentimental one, owing more to his tragic death at the age of 32 than the quality of his career.

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Hall of Fame 2022

Masahiro Yamamoto, who set numerous age-related record as a front-line starter, and Shingo Takatsu, who is second on Japan’s all-time saves list have been elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, the hall announced Friday.

Both Yamamoto, who pitched his entire career for the Chunichi Dragons, and Takatsu, spent most of playing years with the Yakult Swallows, were elected from the Players Division ballot. They were joined by the late founder of Tokai University, Shigeyoshi Matsumae, who was elected by the special committee for his role in promoting baseball internationally.

For the second straight year, no new inductees were elected from the Experts Division, which considers other achievements in addition to what individuals accomplish during their playing career.

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writing & research on Japanese baseball