Masao Yanada

From BR Bullpen

Masao Yanada (柳田 浩一) formerly listed as Koichi Yanada

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 171 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Masao Yanada was a Gold Glove outfielder in Nippon Pro Baseball and later became an umpire.

Yanada was a third-round pick of the Yakult Swallows in the 1984 NPB draft. He made his NPB debut in 1986, pinch-hitting for Kenji Miyamoto. He was 0 for 4 with a hit-by-pitch for the season. In 1987, he was used primarily as a defensive substitute and pinch-runner. He played 74 games but only had 17 at-bats (4 H, 2 SB), scoring 7 times. His first NPB hit was as a pinch-hitter for Kenichi Kajima, singling off Chikafusa Ikeda. He played one game and did not bat in 1988 and did not play for the Swallows in 1989.

In 1990, the Tokushima native hit his first NPB homer, taking Kazuhisa Kawaguchi deep on April 21. He was a regular in the Yakult outfield for the only season (thanks to new manager Katsuya Nomura's support), hitting .237/.280/.327 with 21 steals in 28 tries. He did dazzle defensively, winning a Gold Glove (Toshikatsu Hikono and Kenichi Yamazaki were the other winners in the Central League). He finished among the CL leaders in steals (4th, 2nd on his team behind Tetsuya Iida) and sacrifice hits (21, 4th, between Ryuzo Yamasaki and Kozo Shoda). He fell to a part-time role in 1991 (.206/.270/.331 in 98 G) and then back to being mostly a defensive sub in 1992 (1 for 5 in 15 G). He was 0 for 1 in two games in the 1992 Japan Series as Yakult fell to the Seibu Lions in seven. Moving to the Kintetsu Buffaloes, he was 1 for 9 with 3 runs in 1995, his final season as a player.

Yanada hit .225/.272/.319 in 647 plate appearances over 327 NPB games, with 78 runs, 48 RBI and 29 steals in 42 tries.

He then became an umpire in the Pacific League, starting in 1996. He has worked the 2002 NPB All-Star Game, 2006 NPB All-Star Game, 2007 Japan Series, 2009 Japan Series, 2012 Japan Series,2015 Premier 12, 2015 NPB All-Star Game and 2021 NPB All-Star Game. He became the third person to appear in a Japan Series as both a player and umpire, following Osamu Kubota and Tadayuki Inoue. He was the home plate umpire for Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase's perfect game in the 2007 Japan Series. In the 2012 Japan Series' game 4, he made a controversial call. Ken Kato bunted a high-and-inside pitch from Kazuhito Tadano and the ball hit him in the head. Yanada said it was a hit-by-pitch and ejected Tadano.

Sources include Japanese Wikipedia