Juzo Sanada

From BR Bullpen


Juzo Sanada (真田 重蔵)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 160 lbs.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Juzo Sanada authored two no-hitters in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Sanada helped Koyo High School won back-to-back Summer Koshien title, then the Asahi signed him in 1943. He was 13-13 with a 1.97 ERA in his rookie year, ranking 7th in ERA (1.24 behind Hideo Fujimoto) and 7th in wins (21 behind Fujimoto) in the Japanese Professional Baseball League. He was called up to Navy and spent the next two years in the military. Sanada came back to the field in 1946 and had a 25-26 record with a 3.15 ERA. He led the JPBL in appearances, complete games, innings, hits allowed, walks, strikeouts, earned runs and hit-by-pitches. His 202 runs and 422 hits allowed are still the most in Japanese pro baseball history (unlikely to be broken barring major changes to the game), and his 464 2/3 innings pitched are ranked 3rd in NPB all-time. He also set the NPB record when he allowed 22 hits in a game on July 20.

Sanada was still solid in 1947. He was 23-21 with a 2.38 ERA and 152 strikeouts, but still led the league with 112 earned runs. The Wakayama native completed the first walk-free no-hitter in NPB history on September 6 in the next season; only Kazuo Matsumoto's error prevented the perfect game. He ended up 25-19 with a 2.22 ERA, led the league in appearances with 58 and ranked 6th in ERA (.38 behind Hiroshi Nakao). Sanada injured his hand and only had a 4.13 ERA with 13 wins in 1949.

When the Japanese Baseball League split into two leagues, Sanada continued his elite pitching. He was 39-12 with a 3.05 ERA and 191 strikeouts. He led the new Central League in wins and innings, ranked 8th in ERA (1.01 behind Nobuo Oshima) and 2nd in strikeouts (18 behind Shigeru Sugishita). He won the Best Nine and the Sawamura Award, and his 39 wins in a season is still the Central League record. In the 1950 Nippon Series, Sanada started in Game 3 and completed the game with 6 runs allowed and got the win with Isao Mimura's walk-off single. His next start was Game 5 as he allowed 3 runs in 8 2/3 innings and got the loss. He got 7 votes for the Most Valuable Player Award that season, beat by his teammate Makoto Kozuru who got 12 votes.

Sanada injured his right elbow and slumped to a 5.31 ERA in 24 appearances in 1951, and the Shochiku Robins released him. The Osaka Tigers picked him up, and he bounced back with a 16-9 record and a 1.97 ERA. He was 3rd in ERA (.28 behind Tadayoshi Kajioka) and 9th in wins (17 behind Takehiko Bessho). He also completed the second no-hitter in his career on May 7. Sanada was used as a two-way player, and he hit .318/.376/.349 in 141 at-bats. The Wakayama native was 8-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 1953, and had a 3.45 ERA in 21 games in 1954. He hit .258/.340/.336 with one homer on the plate in 73 games in 1954. He only had 7 appearances in 1955, and turned into a full-time batter in 1956. Sanada hit .207/.270/.284 in 77 games in the 1956 season, but he had an argument with the manager Fumio Fujimura, then the he was forced to retire after that season. After retiring, Sanada coached the Meisei High School and won the Summer Koshien title in 1963, became the first one to win the Koshien title as both player and coach. He then served as pitching coach for the Tokyo Orions from 1964 to 1965, and worked as the same position for the Hankyu Braves from 1966 to 1971 and for the Kintetsu Buffaloes from 1978 to 1981. Sanada was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.

Overall, Sanada was 178-128 with a 2.83 ERA and pitched 2,717 innings in 11 seasons in NPB.