Column flashback (from 2020)

Ed Odeven Reporting

A look back at Hideo Nomo’s start in the major leagues in 1995 and the historical significance of his move to the Dodgers.

By Ed Odeven

June 2, 1995, is a monumental day in the annals of Japan’s baseball history.

Twenty five years later, it’s an ideal time to revisit Hideo Nomo’s first MLB victory, and his role as a baseball trailblazer. Even more so perhaps because of the current absence of the regular season in North America and Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nomo achieved greatness from the get-go in his pro career with the Kintetsu Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League, including 18-, 17-, 18-, and 17-win campaigns in his first four years (1990-93), while at the same time nabbing four PL strikeout crowns (287, 287, 228, and 276) in that span. He slipped to 8-7 in 1994, when he was bothered by a shoulder injury.

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