Sunday, October 28, 2018

RIP Tomehiro Kaneda

Former Flyers, Orions and Carp pitcher Tomehiro Kaneda passed away earlier this month at age 71.  Kaneda was the youngest of the four baseball playing Kaneda brothers.  The oldest and most famous brother is Hall Of Fame pitcher Masaichi Kaneda while the other two brothers Takayoshi and Hideo were with the Swallows in the late 50's/early 60's although neither of them ever saw any action with the ichi-gun team.  Kaneda's nephew Akihito Kaneishi (I think the son of a sister) pitched for the Carp, Fighters and Giants between 1979 and 1998.  As far as I know the other three brothers are all still living.  Tomehiro was 14 years younger than Masaichi.

2013 BBM Great Numbers #105
Tomehiro Kaneda was a fourth round pick of the Toei Flyers out of Nittsu Urawa of the corporate leagues in the 1968 draft.  He wore uniform number 34 with Toei, the same number his brother had worn with the Swallows and Giants.  The Flyers used him as both a starter and receiver.  He went 18-13 in his rookie season of 1969 and made the All Star team where he got to pitch against brother Masaichi who was in his final season as a player with the Giants.  He went 24-16 in 1970, 15-14 in 1971 and 20-12 in 1972 - the 20 wins led the Pacific League in victories that season.  Oddly enough he made the All Star team in 1970 and 1971 but not in 1972.

1975 JA5

2008 BBM Lotte 40th Anniversary #26

2017 BBM Time Travel 1975 #25
Kaneda was traded to the Lotte Orions for Osamu Nomura after the 1973 season which allowed him to play for his brother Masaichi who had taken over the team as manager prior to that season.  The Broder card shows the two of them with Tomehiro on the left and Masaichi on the right - the card is blank backed and just says "Kaneda" on the front but Engel lists the card as being Tomehiro alone.  Tomehiro went 16-7 in 1974, helping to lead the Orions to a Nippon Series championship over the Chunichi Dragons.  He lead the Pacific League in victories that season and was named MVP of the league.  He also was named to the Best 9 team that year for the only time in his career.

1979 Takara Carp #44

1979 TCMA #28

2015 BBM Carp Legends #20
Masaichi resigned as manager of Lotte after the 1978 season and Tomehiro was traded to the Carp along with Hidetake Watanabe for Takuya Mochizuki, Takahiro Kenmotsu and Hideyuki Hirata.  He spent four seasons with the Carp, mostly working in relief.  He did not appear for the Carp in either the 1979 or 1980 Nippon Series.  Probably the most notable event of his time in Hiroshima was Sadaharu Oh hitting his 850th home run off of him in 1980.  He spent the entire 1982 season with the Carp's farm team and then retired.  He coached for Lotte for two years (1987-88) and also managed a health food company.  He played for the Tokyo Dreams of the Masters League in 2001.

No comments: