Shoichi Busujima

From BR Bullpen

Shoichi Busujima

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 158 lb.

BR NPB page

Biographical Information[edit]

Shoichi Busujima played for the Toei Flyers for 18 years, making eight All-Star teams.

Busujima debuted in 1954, hitting .264/.329/.349. He improved to .298/.357/.418 with 12 triples in 1955. He ranked 8th in the Pacific League in average, slightly ahead of fellow .298 batters Kihachi Enomoto and Seiji Sekiguchi. He made his first PL All-Star team in 1956 despite falling to .266/.332/.355; he stole 16 bases in 20 tries.

On June 23, 1957, the 21-year-old hit for the cycle. He finished the season with 15 steals (caught 7 times), a league-best 13 triples and a .307/.370/.467 batting line. He placed third in the league in average, behind Kazuhiro Yamauchi and Futoshi Nakanishi and made his second All-Star team. He joined Hiroshi Oshita and Yamauchi as the Best Nine picks in the outfield.

In 1958, #33 hit .306/.368/.399. He made his third All-Star team in a row and his second Best Nine, alongside Sekiguchi and Kohei Sugiyama. He was second in the PL in average, just eight points behind leader Nakanishi. In 1959, he fell to .251/.320/.382. Returning to All-Star form in 1960, he batted .273/.329/.369 and went 12-for-15 in steal attempts.

Shoichi cracked a career-high 38 doubles in 1961, added 11 triples and scored 82 runs while hitting .293/.356/.415. He made his fifth All-Star squad and led the league in at-bats (566), plate appearances (631) and triples. In 1962, he reached double-digits in doubles (17), triples (11) and home runs (12) for the only time; for the year, he produced at a .288/.356/.446 rate. He stole a career-high 27 bases while being caught 8 times and drove in a career-best 77 runs. He led the PL with 10 sacrifice flies and was an All-Star for the sixth time. He led in triples for the third time. Toei won its only PL pennant. In the 1962 Japan Series, Busujima was just 3 for 29 with 3 walks and a game 3 homer; Toei still won its lone Japan Series, topping the Hanshin Tigers in seven games.

During 1963, Busujima slumped to .257/.332/.415 and did not reach double digits in any of the extra-base hit departments. He batted .268/.313/.390 with a career-high 13 home runs in 1964; he also stole 14 bases in 19 tries. He again led the PL in at-bats (598) and total bases (647). He remained steady at .265/.316/.411 in 1965 while making his first All-Star team in three years.

The Kiryu native made his 8th and last All-Star squad in 1966 (he hit .381 in All-Star competition for his career); for the year, he was at .298/.347/.423 with 9 triples and 10 steals (in 12 tries). He led the league in triples, his last time leading in any category, and joined Isao Harimoto and Teruyuki Takakura as the Best Nine selections in the outfield. He finished 4th in average, trailing only Enomoto, Harimoto and Katsuya Nomura.

The veteran fell to .251/.310/.326 in 1967 then rebounded somewhat to .274/.311/.406 in 1968 to just miss the top 10 in average (.002 behind #10 Yasuhiro Kunisada). In 1969, he hit .262/.327/.398, followed by .232/.308/.341 in 1970. He appeared in four games but did not bat in 1971 to wrap up his career.

Overall, Busujima had batted .277/.336/.397 in 2,056 NPB games. He scored 865 runs, legged out 106 triples, delivered 122 home runs and stole 191 bases in 275 tries. Through 2010, he ranks second in NPB history in triples (9 behind Yutaka Fukumoto), having retired as the all-time leader.

Busujima coached and scouted for the Taiheiyo Club Lions/Seibu Lions then became a baseball commentator on cable TV.

Source: Japan Baseball Daily