Shinichi Ishimaru (石丸 進一)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- High School Saga Shogyo High School
Shinichi Ishimaru pitched in the Japanese Professional Baseball League before dying in a kamikaze attack during World War II. His brother Tokichi Ishimaru also played in the JPBL and his great-nephew Taisuke Ishimaru played in the American minor leagues..
Ishimaru debuted with Nagoya as a middle infielder in 1941, hitting only .197/.236/.201 in 73 games, with 5 runs, 8 RBI and 22 errors. He moved to the mound in 1942 and was much better (17-19, 1.71). The JPBL was a pitcher-friendly league and he missed the top 10 in ERA by .03 behind Takao Misono. He was the ace of a team that was 19-41 when other pitchers got the decision, thus getting nearly half their wins. He tied Minoru Kasamatsu for 9th in the league in wins, was 4th in losses, was 7th in games pitched (56, between Tadashi Wakabayashi and Kasamatsu), tied Shuichi Hirose for 9th in complete games (18), was 6th in innings (347 2/3), ranked 8th in hits allowed (227), led with 169 walks (25 more than runner-up Shigezo Ishihara) and led with two balks.
In 1943, #26 improved to 20-12, 1.16 with 185 hits in 311 1/3 innings. On October 12, he threw a no-hitter against Yamato, the last no-no in Japan prior to World War II. It was the second no-hitter in Nagoya annals, following Michio Nishizawa. He made the JBL leaderboard in ERA (4th after Hideo Fujimoto, Yasuo Hayashi and Wakabayashi), wins (tied for 4th with Hayashi), games pitched (43, tied for 5th with Eiji Katayama), complete games (27, tied for 5th with Hayashi), shutouts (6, 7th), innings (5th, between Takehiko Bessho and Hayashi), walks (134, 8th, between Juzo Sanada and Wakabayashi) and whiffs (91, 10th).
Ishimaru entered the Imperial Japanese Navy late in 1943. In April 1945, he was assigned to the Kamikaze Special Attack Force Jinrai Corps. In May 11, he was sent to attack Americans by Okinawa but his plane was shot down along the way and he died. Before his suicide flight, he had asked for a baseball and threw 10 pitches, with a reporter umpiring the calls. He was the only JBL player who would serve as a kamikaze pilot during the War.
Shinichi had gone 37-31 with a 1.45 ERA in 99 NPB games. He completed 45 of 63 starts, 9 of them for shutouts. He allowed only 412 hits in 659 innings though he walked 303. He hit .173/.218/.183 with 13 runs and 24 RBI.