Osamu Kubota

From BR Bullpen

Osamu Kubota

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 158 lb.

Osamu Kubota pitched for 12 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball and once led the league in ERA.

After dropping out of college, Kubota signed with the Toei Flyers. He debuted in 1955, going 3-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 16 games. He pitched just 27 1/3 IP in 11 games in 1956, falling to 1-1, 6.43. His role increased slightly in 1957 when he had a 1-0, 3.48 record in 16 outings. He pitched 14 games in 1958 with a 0-2, 3.64 mark.

Kubota finally topped 20 games with 24 in 1959, when he was 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA. In 1960, he became a regular of the Toei staff, pitching 169 1/3 innings over 48 games and going 9-10 with a 2.49 ERA. He walked only 26.

In 1961, the right-hander was 25-11 with a 2.16 ERA in 313 innings and 55 games. He gave up only 257 hits and 47 walks for a WHIP just under 1; he managed to face 1,230 batters without hitting a single one. He made his first Pacific League All-Star team and finished third in ERA behind Kazuhisa Inao and Masayuki Dobashi.

The Shimane native was 16-7 with a 2.12 ERA in 1962 and again had a WHIP under one. Not a strikeout pitcher, he whiffed just 43 in 190 2/3 IP. He led the PL in ERA by .18 over Inao. Toei made the 1962 Japan Series thanks to Kubota's fine hurling; in the Series, he allowed only 5 runs in 27 innings but got no decisions as Toei won the Series in six games. He started game 7, in which Toei and the Hanshin Tigers traded goose eggs for 9 innings before Toei won it in the 10th.

The right-hander had his last big year in 1963 when he was 15-10 with a 2.70 ERA and only 26 walks in 206 2/3 IP. He did not throw a wild pitch all year long. He made his second and last All-Star team.

Kubota's role fell drastically from there to 24 games and 82 2/3 IP in 1964 (3-4, 3.69) and 15 games and 44 1/3 IP in 1965 (3-5, 4.09). Moving to the Yomiuri Giants in 1966, he was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five games.

In 307 career NPB games, Kubota was 80-58 with a 2.83 ERA. He allowed 1,171 hits and 244 walks in 1,264 1/3 IP. He only struck out 453 and only threw 12 wild pitches.

After his playing career ended, Kubota was a Central League umpire. He was the first person to both play and umpire in a Japan Series.

Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland