Thursday, June 2, 2016

RIP Tsuguo Gotoh

Former Tigers catcher-infielder-outfielder, coach and manager Tsuguo Gotoh passed away on Monday at age 92 (H/T NPB Reddit).  Gotoh has joined the Tigers in 1948 from Hosei University and played 10 seasons with them.  He hit .300 or better for four straight seasons (1949-52) but he broke his clavicle midway through the 1953 season.  He missed the entire 1954 season and his numbers never seemed to recover from it.  He retired following the 1957 season and became a coach for the team the next two years.  He came back to the team in 1966 and ended up as manager in 1969,  leading the team to a second place finish.  He was replaced by Minoru Murayama after that one season but he returned to the managerial role a second time in 1978.  This time he was much less successful - the Tigers finished last for the first time ever - and he was replaced by Don Blasingame after the season.

He was born in 1924 so you'd expect that he'd spent some time in the military during the War.  But I don't see anything about it in his Japanese Wikipedia article.

Here's some cards of him:

1950 JCM118 "Transportation Back" menko

1967 Kabaya-Leaf #119

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baseball #024

2010 BBM Tigers 75th Anniversary #14

2011 Epoch/All Japan Baseball Foundation Managers #04

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