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Hiromitsu Ochiai
落合 博満
Hiromitsu Ochiai.jpg
Born: (1953-12-09) December 9, 1953 (age 60)
Yuri, Akita, Japan
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
NPB: May 29, 1979 for the Lotte Orions
Last professional appearance
October 7, 1998 for the Nippon Ham Fighters
NPB statistics
Batting average .311
Hits 2371
RBIs 1564
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Inducted 2011

Hiromitsu Ochiai (落合 博満 Ochiai Hiromitsu, born December 9, 1953) is a former Japanese professional baseball player. He is former manager of the Chunichi Dragons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He is considered to be one of the most important people in the history of Japanese baseball, winning numerous batting awards and being the only player to receive the prestigious triple crown batting award three times.

Biography[edit]

Ochiai was born in the town of Yuri in Akita, Japan, a rice-farming area of northern Honshū. Ochiai was the youngest of seven children and grew up enjoying spending time in the cinema rather than on the baseball field. At Toyo University, he quit after one year as he did not approve of the traditional way freshman players had to cater to the senior players on the team. He joined Toshiba Fuchu, a team in the Japanese industrial league, after leaving Toyo University and went back to his home town and spent some years there to be professional bowling player.

In 1978, at 25 years old, the third baseman joined Lotte Orions after being selected in the third round of the draft. The Lotte manager did not care for his unorthodox right-handed batting style and Masaichi Kaneda criticized Ochiai, but Isao Harimoto supported Ochiai and Ochiai did not quit.[1] From 1981, Ochiai played a regular role for his team, and in 1982 he won his first triple crown batting title. He also won the Triple crown in 1985 and 1986, and continued winning titles through 1991.

In 1987, Ochiai was traded to the Chunichi Dragons by the Lotte Orions. During the 1994 season, the Yomiuri Giants picked up Ochiai as a free agent. After the Giants signed Kazuhiro Kiyohara in 1997, Ochiai joined the Nippon Ham Fighters at the age of 43. At the conclusion of the 1998 season, Ochiai retired.

Ochiai's style is called Oreryu(オレ流). Oreryu means "to do with only my style." The word described how he acted according to his personal philosophies.

Hiromitsu Ochiai has been the manager of the Chunichi Dragons since 2004. He led the Dragons to the Japan Series during his inaugural year as manager in 2004, again in 2006, and led them to victory on the third try in 2007. His contract was not renewed after leading the Dragons to within a game of winning the 2011 Japan Series.[2] He was often criticized for his decision-making, such as removing starting pitcher Daisuke Yamai to start the ninth inning of game five of the 2007 Japan Series. Yamai had been pitching a perfect game. Closer Hitoki Iwase finished off the ninth for a rare combined perfect game to clinch the championship for the Dragons.[3]

Ochiai was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. The Hiromitsu Ochiai Baseball Hall opened in Taiji, Wakayama in 1993 starting a trend of museums dedicated to famous ballplayers.[4]

On October 9th, 2013, Ochiai was appointed general manager of the Chunichi Dragons.[5]

Awards and Accomplishments[edit]

  • MVP (1982, 1985)
  • Triple Crown (1982, 1985, 1986)
  • Batting Title (1981~1983, 1985, 1986)
  • Home run Title (1982, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991)
  • Run batted in Title (1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990)
  • On-base percentage Title (1982, 1985~1988, 1990, 1991)
  • Best Nine Award (1981~1986, 1988~1991)
  • Matsutaro Shoriki Award (2007)

Career batting statistics[edit]

YEAR Team Number G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI SB CS SB SF BB HBP K DP ERR AVG OBP SLG OPS
1979 Lotte
Orions
6 36 69 64 7 15 3 1 2 26 7 1 0 0 0 4 1 12 2 1 .234 .290 .406 .696
1980 57 188 166 28 47 7 0 15 99 32 1 0 2 2 17 1 23 5 5 .283 .349 .596 .946
1981 127 502 423 69 138 19 3 33 262 90 6 3 1 4 68 6 55 17 9 .326 .423 .619 1.043
1982 128 552 462 86 150 32 1 32 280 99 8 2 0 4 81 5 58 11 7 .325 .428 .606 1.034
1983 119 497 428 79 142 22 1 25 241 75 6 5 0 3 64 2 52 14 7 .332 .419 .563 .982
1984 129 562 456 89 143 17 3 33 265 94 8 1 0 4 98 4 33 14 16 .314 .436 .581 1.017
1985 130 568 460 118 169 21 1 52 351 146 5 1 0 4 101 3 40 16 19 .367 .481 .763 1.244
1986 123 522 417 98 150 11 0 50 311 116 5 1 0 1 101 3 59 15 10 .360 .487 .746 1.232
1987 Chunichi
Dragons
125 519 432 83 143 33 0 28 260 85 1 4 0 4 81 2 51 10 9 .331 .435 .602 1.037
1988 130 557 450 82 132 31 1 32 261 95 3 4 0 6 98 3 70 11 10 .293 .418 .580 .998
1989 130 559 476 78 153 23 1 40 298 116 4 3 1 6 75 1 69 11 6 .321 .410 .626 1.036
1990 131 570 458 93 133 19 1 34 256 102 3 3 0 8 100 4 87 7 7 .290 .416 .559 .975
1991 112 478 374 80 127 17 0 37 255 91 4 2 0 5 95 4 55 9 5 .340 .473 .682 1.155
1992 116 481 384 58 112 22 1 22 202 71 2 3 0 6 88 3 74 12 3 .292 .425 .526 .948
1993 119 504 396 64 113 19 0 17 183 65 1 2 0 8 96 4 69 13 4 .285 .423 .462 .885
1994 Yomiuri
Giants
60 129 540 447 53 125 19 0 15 189 68 0 0 0 6 81 6 56 13 8 .280 .393 .423 .815
1995 6 117 483 399 64 124 15 1 17 192 65 1 0 0 8 73 3 87 17 5 .311 .414 .481 .895
1996 106 448 376 60 113 18 0 21 194 86 3 0 0 2 67 3 53 11 6 .301 .408 .516 .924
1997 Nippon Ham
Fighters
3 113 466 397 35 104 14 0 3 127 43 3 0 0 5 61 3 60 16 3 .262 .361 .320 .680
1998 59 192 162 11 38 6 0 2 50 18 0 1 0 2 26 2 22 12 0 .235 .344 .309 .652
Total 2236 9257 7627 1335 2371 371 15 510 4302 1564 65 35 4 88 1475 63 1135 236 140 .311 .422 .564 .987

References[edit]

  1. ^ donga.com ["Korean Hitter with Odd Stance Meets Manager Who Had One Too." 02 Mar 2007, Dong-a Ilbo, The.]
  2. ^ Coskey, Jason."Ochiai bows out after eight years in charge of Dragons." 25 Nov 2011: Japan Times, The.[1]
  3. ^ Coskey, Jason. "Dragons clinch Japan Series: Yamai, Iwase combine for perfect game." 02 Nov 2007: Japan Times, The. [2]
  4. ^ Normile, Dennis. "Museum Showcases Ichiro's Baseball Career." 27 Aug 2012: New York Times, The.[3]
  5. ^ Graczyk, Wayne. "Tanishige to become rare player-manager for Dragons." 19 October 2013: Japan Times, The. [4]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Koichi Nakano
Randy Bass
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize
1982
1986
Succeeded by
Tatsuro Hirooka
Ayako Okamoto

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiromitsu_Ochiai — Please support Wikipedia.
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