Tsutomu Tanaka

From BR Bullpen

Tsutomu Tanaka

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.

BR Japan page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tsutomu Tanaka was a pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball for 9 years but is most infamous for his involvement in the Black Mist Scandal where he helped bribe players to throw games - several were banned from NPB for the scandal. Tanaka made his debut with the Nishitetsu Lions in 1962 and began to be used regularly in 1962, when he went 6-8 with a 2.44 ERA. In 1963 he became a star with a 17-8 record and a 2.65 ERA; he was eight in the Pacific League in ERA and tied Joe Stanka and Toshiaki Tokuhisa for the shutout lead with four. The next season Tsutomu fell to 15-15, 3.30 and issued 102 free passes, the most in the Pacific.

He cut his walk total to 84 in 1965 but again led the Pacific; his record continued to fall as he went 11-17 with a 3.21 ERA. In 1966 Tanaka bounced back with his best year - his record was 23-12, his ERA was 2.34, he led the loop with 217 strikeouts and he made his only Best Nine. He was 7th in the Pacific League in ERA that year.

Tanaka slipped back to 12-10 in 1967 though his ERA was 2.17 (4th in the league) and he tied teammate Masaaki Ikenaga for the league lead with 6 shutouts (Ikenaga would later be blacklisted after Tanaka paid him to throw games during the scandal).

In 1968 Tsutomu went to the Chunichi Dragons and had a 11-12, 3.41 season with them then went 8-6 with a 3.31 ERA in 1969 to finish his career at 103-89, 2.81 before the scandal engulfed him.

Main source: www.japanbaseballdaily.com