Kazuo Higasa

From BR Bullpen

Kazuo Higasa

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 149 lb.

Kazuo Higasa played for eight seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Higasa served in Japan's military in World War II. He was teaching and coaching at Jinsei Gakuen High School in 1949 when he was signed by the Hiroshima Carp. He hit the first homer ever by a Carp player at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium when he did so on April 8, 1950. He hit .219/.298/.401 in 1950 with 21 home runs.

He switched teams in the 1951, joining the Yomiuri Giants because Hiroshima was not paying their players on time. He batted .370/.463/.630 in 31 games in 1951. He was one for five with a homer and 3 RBI as a backup outfielder in the 1951 Japan Series, to help Yomiuri take the first of many Japan Series titles.

Higasa was 16 for 69 with 3 doubles, a triple, 3 homers and 9 walks in 1952. He went 1 for 2 in the 1952 Japan Series. He produced at a .256/.354/.433 rate in 1953 and then went 1 for 8 with two walks as Yomiuri's #4 outfielder in the 1953 Japan Series.

In 1954, Higasa batted just .213/.315/.370 though he did sock 11 homers in 254 AB. He hit .225/.275/.314 in 69 games in 1955. He went 2 for 12 in the 1955 Japan Series. Kazuo went 9 for 49 with four walks and two homers as a bench player in 1956. One of the two long balls, though, made history. On March 25, facing Shigeru Sugishita with a 3-0 deficit in the 9th, he hit a pinch-hit come-from-behind sayonara grand slam, the first such blast in NPB annals. He then went 3 for 5 as a good pinch-hitter in the 1956 Japan Series, though Yomiuri lost.

Higasa went 4 for 25 with a double and two walks in 1957 to wrap up his playing career.

In 548 games in NPB, Higasa had cracked 54 homers in 1,376 AB and batted .229/.314/.393.

He later managed in the industrial leagues, coached for the Kintetsu Buffaloes and managed the Kintetsu minor league team. After baseball, he worked in advertising.