Mitsuo Uno

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Mitsuo Uno (宇野 光雄)

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Biographical information[edit]

Mitsuo Uno was an infielder and manager in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Uno played for Fujikura Densen in the industrial leagues and did not turn pro until he was 30 years old, going 2 for 16 for Yomiuri. He went 6 for 38 with a walk in 1948 then retired. He managed in the minors for Yomiuri in 1949. He made a comeback in 1950 and hit .300/.373/.467 in 39 games. He became a starter in 1951 and put up a .303/.369/.390 line with 23 steals in 31 tries. He was 10th in the Central League in average. As Yomiuri's third baseman in the 1951 Japan Series, he went just 2 for 18 but he did homer in game five when they clinched their first Japan Series title.

The Aichi native produced at a .290/.343/.381 rate in 1952. He again struggled in the postseason, 2 for 20 in the 1952 Japan Series, but the Giants still triumphed over the Nankai Hawks. He fell to .270/.324/.377 in 1953 but made the CL All-Star team for the first time. In the 1953 Japan Series, he was 1 for 10 while splitting third base with Dick Kashiwaeda, as Yomiuri lost to Nankai.

Uno was sold to the Kokutetsu Swallows in 1954 to make room for Kashiwaeda full-time at third. The move would come back to hurt Yomiuri as Uno helped the Swallows beat them several times to help cost them the pennant. He batted .291/.337/.378 with 19 steals in 22 tries, while again being an All-Star. He also made his lone Best Nine, picked as the CL's top third baseman. At age 38, Uno hit .259/.321/.353 in 1955. He was just 2 for 13 for the Swallows in 1956 and again retired as a player, how with a career batting line of .280/.336/.374 in 633 games.

Uno replaced Soichi Fujita as the Swallows' manager for 1956 and promptly led the team to four straight 4th-place finishes in the 6-team league - 61-65-4, 58-68-4, 58-68-4, 63-65-2. He fell to 54-72-4 and last in 1960 and was replaced by Kuninobu Sunaoshi. Uno then moved onto the Daimai Orions, succeeding Yukio Nishimoto. He was back in familiar territory, finishing 4th in both 1961 (72-66-2) and 1962 (60-70-2) before being replaced by Yasuya Hondo. He was 426-474-22 overall as a manager. He later managed in the minors again for Yomiuri.

Sources: Japanbaseballdaily, Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball by Robert Fitts

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