‘Mayor of Susukino’ spills on perfect game
Former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Hiromi Makihara revealed Friday that his May 18, 1995, perfect game at Fukuoka Dome – the last thrown in Japan – was the big game he needed to avoid a one-month ban on leaving the team’s lodgings during road trips, Sponichi Annex reports.
Speaking on TV Asahi network’s “Zawatsuku! Kinyobi” (Raucous Friday), Makihara, who has a reputation as a late-night carouser, said two nights before that game, a coach caught him breaking curfew while on the road after he left the Giants’ hotel to go drinking at 1 a.m.
One story goes that Makihara is known as the “Mayor of Susukino,” who during the Giants’ annual trips to Sapporo, would spend all his free time in the northern city’s nightlife and red-light district, only setting foot in the team hotel to dress before and after games.
Makihara said, a one-month ban on his nightly prowls bordered on cruel and unusual punishment, so he went to the coaching staff the next day to face the music.
He said he was given the chance to redeem himself – and avoid the punishment — based on the results of his next start.
“I found strength in myself I’d never had before,” he said.