Sadao Nishimura (西村 貞朗)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 162 lb.
- High School Kotohira High School
Sadao Nishimura was a star Japanese pitcher in the middle of the 1950s.
Nishimura debuted in 1953, going 2-9 with a 3.99 ERA for the Nishitetsu Lions. He allowed a .222 average but walked 83 in 119 2/3 innings and led the Pacific League with five wild pitches. In 1954, he improved to 22-5, 1.77 and .87 WHIP. He struck out 236 in 275 innings while cutting his walk total to 72 despite more than doubling his inning total. He led the league with eight shutouts, over half of his career total of 14. He made his first All-Star team and was honored to the Best Nine as the league's top pitcher, even though Motoji Takuwa won the pitching Triple Crown; Nishimura finished second to Takuwa in ERA. In the 1954 Japan Series, he started and lost game one to the Chunichi Dragons then had two no-decisions in relief stints as Nishitetsu dropped the Series. He had a 3.00 ERA for the Series.
In 1955, he made his second (and last) PL All-Star team, finishing with a 19-6, 2.41 record and 191 strikeouts. He missed the top 10 in ERA, .02 behind #10 Tokuji Kawasaki. Sadao improved to 21-7, 1.72 with a .189 opponent average and 0.91 WHIP in 1956. The 21-year-old also hit .284/.353/.446 with 10 RBI and 2 HR in 74 AB, a far cry from his career line of .163/.234/.251. He was fourth in the league in ERA behind Kazuhisa Inao, Yukio Shimabara and Hiroshi Taneda. In the 1956 Japan Series, he was roughed up for 14 hits and 10 runs in 6 2/3 IP but Nishitetsu still beat the Yomiuri Giants in six games. Nishimura relieved in game one, started game three and relieved in (and lost) game five. Thankfully for Nishitetsu, teammates Inao and Shimabara both pitched far better to carry them to their first title).
The young hurler fell to 5-5, 2.69 in 1957, already past his peak. He did not pitch in the 1957 Japan Series, when Nishitetsu used just five pitchers (thanks to two complete games from Inao and one from Hisafumi Kawamura). In 1958, he posted a 7-10, 2.77 record but had his best game. On [[July 18], he tossed a perfect game against the Toei Flyers. It was the second perfecto in PL annals, following one by Fumio Takechi. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 10th in ERA. In the 1958 Japan Series, the right-hander had one relief appearance and one start, with two no-decisions. He allowed 3 runs in 5 innings; Nishitetsu again beat Yomiuri, with Inao getting all four of their wins in a historic performance.
Nishimura went 6-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 1959 then did not pitch in 1960. When he returned in 1961, the 26-year-old was washed up (0-1, 8.31, .400 opponent average). He allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings in 1962 to end his career.
Overall, Nishimura was 82-47 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and .217 opponent average in his ten seasons.
After his playing days
Nishimura later was a commentator for Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting. He then went into his wife's family's oil business, working his way up to president. He died of liver cancer.
Source: Japan Baseball Daily