LOS ANGELES (Jan. 17, 2014) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are congratulating former pitcher Hideo Nomo on his election to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame this week.
In 1995, Nomo became the first Major Leaguer in 31 years to enter American professional baseball following pioneering pitcher Masanori Murakami (1964-65). He was an MLB sensation with a fast ball and forkball with a unique tornado pitching style.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate Hideo Nomo on his election to the Japanese Hall of Fame,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “‘Nomomania’ was a very special time for Dodger fans in the United States and internationally. He had a great career both in Japan and the United States and that’s quite evident by the overwhelming voter support Hideo received in gaining entrance on the first ballot.”
Nomo burst onto the scene and immediately captured the nation’s attention with his unorthodox windup en route to a nod as the National League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, a 13-6 record with a 2.54 ERA and a Rookie of the Year selection. Nomo’s popularity spawned “Nomomania,” drawing large crowds at home and on the road in addition to record television rating in Japan, and the “Tornado” finished that season with a NL-best 236 strikeouts in 191.1 innings, which remain a Dodger rookie record.
Nomo went 123-109 with a 4.24 ERA in 323 games (318 starts) during his 12-year Major League career, including an 81-66 record and a 3.74 ERA in 191 starts with Los Angeles from 1995-98 and 2002-04. “Doctor K” played for seven MLB teams (Dodgers, 1995-98, 2002-04; Mets, 1998; Bulwers,1999; Tigers,2000; Red Sox, 2001; Devil Rays, 2005; and Royals, 2008).
Nomo also tossed a pair of no-hitters during his career, Sept. 17, 1996 (Dodgers at Rockies) and April 4, 2001 (Red Sox at Orioles). He is one of only five pitchers to throw a no-hitter in both the American and National Leagues.
“I am so happy and proud to learn of Hideo Nomo’s election to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, he is truly a Hall of Famer,” said Tommy Lasorda, who managed Nomo during his first two MLB seasons in 1995-96. “When he came to the Dodgers in 1995, I remember taking him under my wing like a son and helping him with the transition. He was quite a pitcher and competitor, but he is also a very special and caring person. The Dodger fans loved him and it became the start of ‘Nomomania’ in Los Angeles and Japan. Hideo, on behalf of the Dodger organization, congratulations on this prestigious honor. We wish you and your wonderful family many happy and healthy years.”
Prior to playing in the Majors, Nomo pitched five seasons from 1990-94 for Kintetsu in Japan, earning five All-Star selections and posting a 78-46 record with a 3.15 ERA in 139 games (134 starts).
Nomo was born on August 31, 1968 in Minato-ku, Osaka, Japan. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
The Players Selection Committee of the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame consists of 329 members. They elected Hideo Nomo, Koji Akiyama and Kazuhiro Sasaki from among 22 eligible candidates in the Players Division prepared by the Screening Committee.
The Expert Division of the PSC (the membership is 112) has failed to select successful candidates from among 20 eligible candidates (11 new candidates and 9 returnees).
The Special Selection Committee, on the other hand, has selected Choichi Aida from among the 10 eligible candidates. The membership of the SSC is 14. The membership of the Baseball Hall of Fame is now 184, including 37 living Hall of Famers. The site and date of the 2014 Induction Ceremony are to be decided in due course of time.