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Japan's Hall of Fame is tougher than ours

Jan 13, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

Three players were inducted into Japan’s baseball hall of fame.  One player who didn’t make it:

Chunichi manager Hiromitsu Ochiai, a three-time batting Triple Crown winner, missed by one vote for the second year in a row.

In addition to winning the triple crown thrice, Ochiai won two additional batting titles in non-Triple Crown years, two additional home run titles in non-Triple Crown years, was a two-time MVP, hit 510 home runs and had an OPS of .987 in a 20 year career that seems to have followed the usual sort of arc for a superstar. He also won a Japan Series as a manager.

I’ll confess that I know nothing about the intricacies of Japanese Hall of Fame elections, but until told otherwise I’m going to assume that he either (a) was tied to some sort of scandal; or (b) that esteemed Japanese baseball writer Jay-san Mariottizuka mailed in a blank ballot.

(thanks to Bob T. — who reports that, among the media, Ochiai had a bad reputation for being cocky, which probably explains all of this — for the heads up) 

  1. Ron - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    See, they are a real major league and everything.

  2. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    If he had done the honorable thing and committed suppuku the first time he didn’t get in, he would have gotten in the second time.
    .
    Bert Blyleven stands to learn a lot from this principle.

  3. OH - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Who Cares . Next your going to start talking about soccer or curling.

  4. Carroll - Jan 13, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Sadaharu OH?

  5. TF in Tampa - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    My scouts over there tell me that Godzilla was considered for there HOF, except that his disqualifcation was not due to roids or pills or any kind of drugs. He just ate his competition!
    I guess by his standards, thats the only way he knew how to compete.

  6. Evil EmpireE2010 - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    In America the writers drink whiskey……..
    In Japan they drink saki ………..

  7. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    There’s actually a bronze statue of Godzilla on a marble pedestal in the plaza just outside the central rail terminal in the middle of Tokyo. The Jurassic one, not Hideki. I always thought it should be out front of the Shinegawa terminal, since that’s the one he skwished in the original film.
    .
    However, in the bazaar on the north side of the Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa district, you can buy incense, votive scrolls, dharmapalas and Kuanyins – and Hideki Matsui bobbleheads in all sizes. What they’re going to do with the ones in pinstripes now, I have no idea. Probably just melt them down for black test cars.

  8. TF in Tampa - Jan 13, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Your worldy knowledge just continues to astound us all. [Craig has made the same observation here before, I'm sure you've read.]
    You pontificate, that is “characterized by stately splendor” acording to Webster, in a way that I could never do. Don’t stop now!
    I’m an ex-New Yorker, Yankee fan all the way, and Matsui’s send off to the west coast leaves me very disheartened, especially after his recent tremendous WS plate appearances.
    If they still have some plastic bobbleheads left over after all is used for the cars, they can always market the rest to be used as black hair dye for aging Gishi women. All part of the Go-Green recycling process.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    (blush) Awww, thanks. I have been compared more often to “stately plump Buck Mulligan,” though, despite the fact that I regard Irish food (“cuisine” is the wrong word entirely) on about the same level as bush tucker. And of course I don’t need to point out the continuity between that pair of gustatory questionables.
    .
    Incidentally, a lot of my “worldly knowledge” is circumstantial – I was in the aviation insurance and risk assessment biz for long years and boy, you do get to do a lot of globe trotting, not to mention having a lot of hours to read. Try London-Singapore or New York – Auckland some time if you want to know what interminable dead hours look like. You get too jetlagged even to fantasize about the flight attendant with the great legs, short skirt and come-hither smile. It’s like soul death, only lower down.

  10. TF in Tampa - Jan 13, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    “stately plump Buck Mulligan” don’t rightly know the busher, is he from deliverence country or somewhere over the pond?
    I would have figered you working for the State Dept., or buried deep in the CIA or some unknown Gov agency, based on where you’ve been and some of the places you talk about, and the foods you’ve tried. Glad to know your a, somewhat, regular Joe.
    Regarding lovely Olga, that shapely German blond attendant flying for Lufthansa, I think we had eyes for the same lady. My flight was only from Frankfurt to NYC, but her chocolate treats were delectable. If I hadn’t missed the right connection with her, who knows what might have happened. Unlucky in love… they say.

  11. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Be careful. Those German blondes can really bounce you off the cabin ceiling. I speak from experience.
    .
    If I had been with the CIA, I suspect I would have been rather like Gust, the agent played by the incomparable Phillip Seymore Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War – only they probably would have had me whacked when I threatened to go on Colbert.

  12. Old Gator - Jan 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    oh, yeah, sorry – “Stately plump Buck Mulligan” are the opening four words to James Joyce’s Ulysses. “And yes I said yes I will yes” are the last words, but since Craig keeps reminding us that this is a family site, I can’t really relate the few sentences that come before those last words. As Casey said, you could look it up.

  13. TF in Tampa - Jan 14, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    You were up much later than me, but thanks for filling in the blanks regarding Agent Gust. I haven’t seen the movie yet but love spies, double agents and International intrigue scripts. Charlie Wilsons War is next on the movie on demand list for sure.
    Make sure to let us all know when your new Novel, “Get Me or Forget Me” ramblings from a globe trotting undercover alias retired insurance exective is ready to be released. I’ll be happy to be your promoter, we can start with a bang, booking your favorite club, having a book signing gig in your town of Miami. We’ll ask Jeter’s new rapper brother-in-law Skyzoo and some of his dudes to supply the tunes.
    Hope you still have lots of frequent flier miles left, I see a major Road Trip in your future!

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