Mitsugu Kobayashi

From BR Bullpen

Mitsugu Kobayashi (小林貢)

Biographical Information[edit]

Mitsugu Kobayashi led an impressive five international tournaments in stolen bases. As no official record is kept on this statistic, it is unclear if he is the leader or not.

He began by leading the 1977 Intercontinental Cup with 11 steals, for the Bronze Medal-winning Japanese national team. He broke Hiroshi Naito's Cup record for swipes; no one ever broke his record before the Intercontinental Cup was last held in 2010. Japan won the 1978 Haarlem Baseball Week and Kobayashi was named MVP.

Kobayashi hit .424/.558/.455 in the 1978 Amateur World Series, stole 13 bases in 13 tries and scored 13 runs in 10 games. He was one steal shy of Cecilio Miller's 28-year-old Amateur World Series record (records are unavailable for the two Amateur World Series run by FEMBA so it is possible someone stole more in those two events). He was 5th in the event in average (between Cuban greats Fernando Sánchez and Antonio Muñoz), led in steals (five ahead of Il-kwon Kim), tied for 5th in hits (with Jae-bak Kim, Terry Francona and Graham Ward), tied Howie Shapiro for 2nd in walks (9, one behind Dale Tilleman) and was presumably among the OBP leaders as well.

The 26-year-old stole seven bases to lead the 1979 Intercontinental Cup while Japan got the Silver Medal. He did not lead the 1980 Amateur World Series in steals, a rarity; Il-kwon Kim led that time. Japan won the Bronze. He led the 1981 Intercontinental Cup with eight steals and the 1982 Amateur World Series with seven more swipes as Japan got Bronze. Finally, he was with Japan when they tied for first in the 1983 Asian Championship to win a spot in the 1984 Olympics.