Hideo Furuya

From BR Bullpen

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Hideo Furuya (古屋 英夫)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 182 lb.

BR NPB page

Biographical Information[edit]

Hideo Furuya played 15 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball and made two All-Star teams.

Furuya won the Tokyo Metropolitan University League batting championship as a junior. He was picked by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the second round of the 1977 draft. He hit .218/.278/.323 in 1978, starting at third base for Nippon Ham. His first hit in NPB came in his debut, against Kiyoharu Ota. The next day, he got his first homer, taking Takashi Imoto deep. He improved to .313/.353/.497 with 15 home runs in 1979. He was 9th in the Pacific League in average, between Kyosuke Sasaki and Kinji Shimatani. Hideo batted .240/.282/.369 with 12 steals in 15 tries in 1980.

The Chiba native rebounded to .290/.337/.417 with 18 stolen bases (in 23 tries) and 73 RBI in 1981. He was 7th in the Pacific League in steals, tied Jim Tyrone for the most double play grounders (17), tied for 9th with 22 doubles and was 10th in RBI. He was 5 for 23 with one run and no RBI in six games in the 1981 Japan Series as Nippon Ham fell to the Yomiuri Giants; it would be his lone Japan Series.

Furuya set PL records for putouts (13) and chances (14) by a third baseman on August 20, 1982. He finished the year with a .291/.337/.444 batting line and 13 homers. He placed 8th in the league in average (between Michiyo Arito and Makoto Shimada), 4th in hits (137, trailing Hiromitsu Ochiai, Yutaka Fukumoto and Takayuki Kono) and 6th in doubles (25). He won a Diamond Glove Award as the PL's top defender at 3B but lost out Best Nine honors to Steve Ontiveros, who had a higher average and OBP though less power.

The Asia University alumnus won another Diamond Glove in 1983 and had a strong season offensively (.306/.344/.464, 19 HR). He finished third in hits (149, four behind Ontiveros and three shy of Leron Lee) and 6th in average (between Koji Minoda and Boomer Wells). Ontiveros again was picked to the Best Nine. 1984 was off-year both at the plate (.248/.294/.391, 13 HR, 12 SB) and in the field (Hiromi Matsunaga snagged the Diamond Glove, the only one Furuya failed to take in a five-year period).

Back in form in 1985, he had a career year, hitting .300/.377/.572 with 33 home runs, 80 runs and 96 RBI. He tied for fourth in the PL in doubles (25, one behind co-leaders Wells, Matsunaga and Hiromichi Ishige), was fifth in homers (trailing Hiromitsu Ochiai, Dick Davis, Koji Akiyama and Wells) and ranked fourth in RBI (96, behind Ochiai, Wells and Davis). He won his third Diamond Glove but again was denied a Best Nine nod, this time by Triple Crown winner Ochiai.

Furuya's offensive performance fell in 1986 but he did have his only 20-20 season. He hit .285/.346/.472 with 27 doubles, 21 home runs and 23 stolen bases (while being caught just three times). He also won his final Diamond Glove. He was 4th in the PL in two-baggers (trailing Hiromasa Arai, Matsunaga and Tony Brewer), 4th in steals (behind Norifumi Nishimura, Hatsuhiko Tsuji and Daijiro Oishi) and second in double play grounders (19, 6 behind leader Lee). He got his 1,000th career hit on July 3, the 145th player to that figure. He faded to .260/.323/.426 with 15 dingers in 1987 and placed on the leaderboards for the final time in a key offensive department, finishing tied for 7th in RBI (69, tied with Hiromitsu Kadota). Ishige ended his run of Diamond Gloves. Furuya got his 150th career homer, the 87th player to do so, taking Tatsumi Murata deep in early September.

Hideo hit .248/.288/.339 with six home runs in 1988, continuing to decline at age 32. His batting line was .272/.331/.430 in 1989 and he went deep 14 times, still good for tied for third on the team with Brian Dayett. Starting to lose playing time to Tetsuro Hirose in 1990, he eked out a .221/.285/.343 line in 67 games.

A free agent, Furuya moved on to the Hanshin Tigers. He hit .311/.354/.356 in 48 plate appearances, primarily as a pinch-hitter in 1991. He no longer played 3B (Hiroshi Yagi manned the spot for the Tigers), instead seeing his only action in the field as a backup to 1B Tom O'Malley. In that role, he entered his 1,500th NPB game on September 22, the 100th player to play that many contests. He was just 1 for 17 with two walks and a steal in 1992 to end his playing career.

Overall, Furuya hit .273/.326/.430 with 233 doubles, 180 home runs, 642 runs, 686 RBI, only 346 walks, 1,406 hits and 122 steals (in 161 tries) in 1,521 NPB games. Through 2011, he was among NPB's career leaders in times hit-by-pitch (69, tied for 53rd with Kazumasa Kono and Julio Zuleta), double play grounders (157, tied for 45th with Masaru Uno) and steal percentage (75th, between Oishi and Koichi Ogata).

After his playing career ended, he coached for Nippon Ham from 1993 to 2002. He then scouted for the Orix BlueWave/Orix Buffaloes from 2003 to 2007. He coached for Orix in 2008 and 2009 then rejoined the Fighters as a coach.

Sources[edit]