Kaichi Masu (桝 嘉一)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 132 lb.
- School Meiji University
- High School Doshisha High School
- Born March 8, 1908 in Kyoto, Kyoto Japan
- Died December 18, 1981
Outfielder Kaichi Masu played for Nagoya in Nippon Professional Baseball from 1936 to 1943, winning one OBP title. He played for the Nagoya Golden Dolphins during the 1936 spring season, as well. In 1937, he was the club's manager; he also managed the team in 1943.
He hit .211/.318/.298 for the Golden Dolphins in 1936, the first season of the new Japanese Professional Baseball League. In the fall, he produced at a .214/.365/.250 clip with 20 walks and 17 runs in 23 games. He tied Masaru Kageura and Toshiyasu Ogawa for 8th in the JPBL in runs and tied for 6th in walks. In the spring of 1937, he hit .241/.338/.341. The player-manager's batting line in the fall was .229/.377/.313.
In a league that was usually pitching-first, Masu performed well offensively in a few seasons. In 1938, during the spring season, he hit .330/.493/.367 with 35 walks and just 13 strikeouts in 34 games. He was second in average (.015 behind Haruyasu Nakajima), tied for 7th with 36 hits, 3rd in walks (behind only Masao Nishimura and Masanobu Yamaguchi), led in OBP (.024 ahead of Yamaguchi) and was 4th in OPS (between Harrison McGalliard and Kageura).
During the fall, he slashed .285/.418/.368 with 32 walks and 12 strikeouts in 40 games. He was 6th in average, tied for 5th in doubles (7), tied Daichi Kaino for 4th in walks and was second in OBP, .010 behind Nakajima. The next year, after the league began playing single seasons each year, he hit .254/.390/.295 with 70 walks and 24 strikeouts in 90 games. He was 7th in the JPBL in OBP (between Kenjiro Matsuki and Norikazu Mizutani) and tied Nishimura for 4th in walks.
In 1940, he slumped to .213/.347/.247 but was still 6th with 68 walks (between Yoshio Gomi and Toshio Tamakoshi) and led with six times hit-by-pitch. He hit .190/.367/.229 in 1941 and was second with 68 walks (3 shy of Shigeru Mizuhara) and tied for second with 3 HBP. He was 7th in OBP, between Masaki Yoshiwara and Shosei Go. He did not make the walk leaders for a rarity in 1942 (.223/.327/.237, 45 BB in 85 G) and only saw brief action in 1943 (3 for 13, 3 BB, 2 RBI) to end his career.
Masu walked as many as 70 times in a season, but never tallied more than 40 Ks. He never struck out more than he walked, finishing his career with 404 free passes and 152 whiffs. He also exhibited decent speed, stealing 10 bases between the two 1938 seasons and 12 bases in 1939. He finished his career with a .234/.370/.281 slash line in 569 games over eight seasons. Despite playing in a pitcher-dominant era, he was 81st in NPB history in OBP through 2011, between Yoshikazu Takagi and Takanori Suzuki.
As manager, he led Nagoya to a 21-35-0 finish in the 1937 spring season and a 13-33-3 finish in the fall campaign. In 1943, he led the club to a 48-29-7, second place finish (four games behind Tokyo Kyojin). He later umpired in NPB and managed in the industrial leagues.