Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Tornado retires

Hideo Nomo, a one time all star, 1995 NL Rookie of the year, and owner of two no-hit games, has officially retired from Major League Baseball at the age of 39.

Hideo Nomo was still around you ask? Well, sort of. After being a failure with Tampa Bay in 2005, which up until this year meant your career is as good as over (i.e. Wade Boggs, Fred McGriff, Ozzie Guillen, John Rocker), he didn't pitch again until being given a few innings with the Royals this season. Being offered a few innings with the Royals is the new being-washed-up-in-Tampa-Bay. Anyways, in those 4.1 innings pitched, Nomo gave up 10 hits, 4 walks, and 9 runs, for an ERA of 18.69. Nomo's last season as a serviceable pitcher was in 2003. So it only took five years to accept the inevitable.

On top of the awesomeness that was his rookie season (in which he was the second best pitcher in the NL, damn you Greg Maddux!), Nomo was THE pioneer (does Masanori Murakami count?) for Japanese players in baseball today. He paved the way for such players as Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Kosuke Fukudome, Tadahito Iguchi, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Irabu, So Taguchi, Kaz Matsui, Kenji Johjima, and my personal favorite, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, amongst others.

So without you Hideo Nomo, baseball may have missed out on some of the awesomest names to ever play the game.

Hideo Nomo Retires (AFP)

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