Masao Kitai

From BR Bullpen

Masao Kitai (北井 正雄)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher/outfielder Masao Kitai played for Hankyu in Nippon Professional Baseball in 1936 and 1937. He was noted for his slider.

He pitched against the Philadelphia Royal Giants when they came to Japan in 1932. He was with Yonago Tetsudo Kanrikyoku in the industrial leagues after college. When the Japanese Professional Baseball League was formed, he was the first ace for Hankyu. He was 6-2 with a 1.94 ERA in the spring season in '36 and hit .333/.429/.467. He won the first ERA title in Japanese pro annals, beating out Akira Noguchi by .30. He was second in wins (two behind Noguchi), 4th in strikeouts (30) and was second in complete games (6, one behind Noguchi). Had he qualified, he would have bee in the top ten in average.

In the fall season of '36, he had a 6-4, 1.63 record and .87 WHIP and hit .308/.381/.410. He tied for fifth in wins, was 5th in ERA (between Hachiro Maekawa and Fujio Fujimura) and tied for 3rd in complete games (7). In 1937, he was 2-4 with a 3.38 ERA and batted .319/.372/.333.

Overall, he had a 14-10, 2.02 record in 31 games (24 starts). He hit .319/.377/.383.

He died of typhoid fever on his 24th birthday.

Sources include Japanese Wikipedia