Hiromoto Okubo

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Hiromoto Okubo

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Hiromoto Okubo was a catcher in the US and Japan who became a coach.

Okubo hit 52 home runs in high school and was a first-round pick of the Seibu Lions in 1984. He made his Pacific League debut in 1985, going 1 for 4. Seibu farmed him out to the 1986 San Jose Bees, where he batted .261/~.321/.357 as San Jose's main catcher. He tied Daryl Sconiers for second on the club with 6 homers, 3 behind leader Nori Tanabe. His 54 RBI were second to Tanabe.

In 1987, Okubo hit .239/.282/.380 in 78 plate appearances over 56 games for Seibu as the backup to Tsutomu Itoh and was named the Junior All-Star Game MVP. He was 0 for 1 in the 1987 Japan Series. "Dave" was 1 for 10 with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 1988 and went 0 for 3 in the 1988 Japan Series.

The Ibaraki native was 1 for 13 with a homer, walk and five K in 1989. In the minors that year, he led the Eastern League in home runs and RBI. He was 3 for 16 with 2 walks and 2 homers in 1990. Okubo was 0 for 8 in 1991.

At age 25 in 1992, Okubo moved to the Yomiuri Giants and batted .277/.337/.504 with 15 homers and 43 RBI in 260 AB in his best season. He even made the Central League All-Star team.

Okubo fell to a .218 average and .289 OBP in 1993 but still smacked 10 home runs, in only 110 AB. He hit .294/.346/.538 with 9 HR in 119 AB in 1994 as the backup to Shinichi Murata. Against his old Seibu mates in the 1994 Japan Series, he was 1 for 7 with a solo home run.

Okubo was 4 for 24 with a double and a home run in 1995 to end his playing career. Overall, he had batted .249/.308/.474 in 303 games in Nippon Pro Baseball. His power numbers were impressive with 41 home runs and 100 RBI in 635 AB.

Okubo later became a baseball commentator on TV. He was hired as the hitting coach of the Seibu Lions and was credited with making them the top force in the 2008 Pacific League en route to the 2008 Japan Series title.

Things unravelled quickly after the Japan Series title. In November 2008, he was accused of striking a female friend. He resigned in disgrace on December 6 of that year. In 2012, he became a coach for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, though, and he was promoted to manager for 2015. After a last-place, 57-83-3 finish, he did not return for a second season.