Friday, November 25, 2011

RIP Yukio Nishimoto

Hall Of Fame manager Yukio Nishimoto has passed away at age 91.  Nishimoto managed for 20 years in NBP with three different Pacific League teams - the Daimai Orions (1960), the Hankyu Braves (1963-1973) and the Kintetsu Buffaloes (1974-1981).  He won eight Pacific League pennants - one with Daimai, five with Hankyu and two with Kintetsu - but never won a Nippon Series.  The Orions were swept in the 1960 Series by Osamu Mihara's Whales.  His Hankyu pennant winners (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1972) were fodder for the V9 Giants and his Buffalo pennent winners were defeated in 1978 and 1979 by the "Red Helmet" era Hiroshima Toyo Carp led by Koji Yamamoto and Sachio Kinugasa.  Sometimes it's not enough to be good - you need a little luck as well.

I am curious as to why he only managed Daimai the one season.  None of the biographical information I've seen has an explanation.

Here's a couple recent cards of his:

2011 All Japan Baseball Foundation Managers #26

2011 BBM Legend Of The Bs #52
Some years ago, I picked up a batch of postcards off of eBay that had black and white photos of a number of Japanese players and managers.  I've got written down in my notes that the postcards were made in 1966 by Mel Bailey, a US serviceman stationed in Japan who had imported the 1967 Kabaya-Leaf set to the US.  I don't recall now how or why I made that connection - it's certainly possible that the pictures were made into postcards much more recently than 1966 by someone other than Mel Bailey.  The relevance to this post is that one of the postcards depicts Yukio Nishimoto:


Ralph said...

Hi, regarding the postcards by Mel Bailey: he did produce postcards of Japanese players during that period, though he also reproduced many of them in the 1990s for collectors. I'd have to dig through my notes to tell you for sure, but the original ones are printed on Mitsubishi paper (and perhaps another Japanese brand), with a 60s style design and have an aged look. I think the newer ones are on Kodak, noticably modern in design and age in any event. ~Ralph Pearce, collector

NPB Card Guy said...

Mine all have "Kodak" backs so I guess they're from the 90's.