Takeshi Yamashita

From BR Bullpen

Takeshi Yamashita (山下 健)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 151 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Takeshi Yamashita was a 2-time All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Yamashita was signed by the Hankyu Braves in 1950, and he was named their starting catcher as a rookie. He hit .180/.263/.280 with a career-high 6 homers, and he led the Pacific League with 87 strikeouts. Yamashita was hitless for 48 consecutive at-bats in his rookie year, and that was the NPB record until Teruaki Sato broke it in 2021 (it is still the PL record as of 2023). He was also the first high school graduate to catch more than 100 games in his first year, and only Takeo Daigo did it after him in NPB history. Yamashita improved to .221/.303/.317 in 1951, but he then slumped to .147/.240/.221 in 1952. When Masumi Isekawa shined in 1953, Yamashita lost his spot so he only got 58 at-bats.

The Takamatsu took back starting catcher spot in 1954, and he hit .201/.257/.280 in 106 games. He recorded a .209/.284/.327 batting line in 1955, then he played a career-high 125 games with a .191/.295/.276 batting line in 1956. He was also selected into the 1956 NPB All-Star Games, and he was 0-for-1 as the starting catcher of Game 2. Yamashita's batting line was .189/.258/.233 in 1957, then he bounced back while hitting .223/.304/.320 in 1958. He was on the PL roster for the 1958 NPB All-Star Games, but he didn't play in either of the games. His batting average was never above the Mendoza Line in the rest of his career, and his last season as the starting catcher was 1962. He hit .161/.218/.214 in 104 games at that season, then Koji Okamura took his spot. Yamashita retired after the 1965 season, and he coached the Braves from 1966 to 1970.

Overall, Yamashita hit .189/.273/.270 with 530 hits and 33 homers in 15 seasons in the NPB.