Hideki Kuriyama (栗山 英樹)
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 158 lb.
Hideki Kuriyama has been a player and manager in Nippon Pro Baseball.
Kuriyama was a two-way threat in college, going 25-8 on the hill and hitting .395. Undrafted, he signed with the Yakult Swallows. He made it to NPB in 1984, going 0 for 1. He was 5 for 18 with a double in 1985, being used frequently as a pinch-runner. He hit .301/.329/.372 as a semi-regular in 1986 but fell to .196/.229/.228 in bench duty in 1987. He had a big year at .331/.354/.388 in 90 games in 1988. Had he qualified, he would have ranked third in the Central League in average behind Kozo Shoda and Jim Paciorek. He was an everyday player in 1989 but his numbers fell: his batting line was .255/.291/.326 and he had only 49 runs and 26 RBI. He did win a Gold Glove in the outfield, joining Toshikatsu Hikono and Kenichi Yamazaki in being so honored. In 1990, he slumped further, to .229/.253/.281 in 109 plate appearances. He then retired, battling some health problems. He hit .279/.316/.341 in 1,339 plate appearances over 494 games. He scored 153 runs and drove in 67.
From 1991-2011, Kuriyama was a TV baseball commentator; he also was a professor at Hakuoh University starting in 2004. He was then hired to manage the Nippon Ham Fighters; he led them to first place in the Pacific League in 2012, even though they had lost ace hurler Yu Darvish in the offseason. The team lost the 2012 Japan Series to the Yomiuri Giants. He then guided Nippon Ham to a title in the 2016 Japan Series and won the Matsutaro Shoriki Award. He was 684-672-54 through 2021 then retired and became a guest broadcaster on TV; Tsuyoshi Shinjo replaced him as skipper.