1961 Japanese League Baseball Season Roster
- 5 Rings: Yomiuri Giants win Nippon Series again
- Mr. Baseball: In Year of Pitcher, MVP Shigeo Nagashima hits .353 for Giants
- Winner, Winner: Rookie 35-game winner doesn’t lead league in wins
Unlike the slugging that accompanied the 1961 expansion in Major League Baseball, it was the Year of the Pitcher in Japan. But in a season with a .242 batting average, Central League MVP Shigeo Nagashima led the league in average (.353), hits (158), doubles (32), homeruns (28), and walks (88). With 21-year-old teammate Sadaharu Oh (.253-13-53) and a cadre of strong pitchers, Nagashima’s Yomiuri Giants won the Nippon Series for the fifth time, topping the Nanaki Hawks in six games … The Hawks won the ultra-competitive Pacific League (which had the teams with the four best records) with their own MVP, catcher Katsuya Nomura (.296-29-89) and the league’s strongest lineup.
About that pitching: Nishitetsu’s Kazuhisa Inao won a record-tying 42 games and set records with 78 appearances (Japan) and 404 IP (Pacific League). His 353 strikeouts rank second in Japanese history and his 1.69 ERA was the lowest in 1961. Rookie-of-the-Year Horoshi Gondo of Chunichi was almost as good with 35 victories, a 1.70 ERA, and 310 strikeouts. Gondo’s 429 IP were the most in Japanese history.
Many other stars had huge seasons. Play them all with as-played files, including the three All-Star games and the Nippon Series teams, with lineups. Actual Japanese-season player statistics have been adjusted for a season that can be played in stand-alone Japanese leagues or against contemporary Major League teams.
Requires Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2017 or higher to play
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