Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award

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Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award
Awarded forAnnual Most Valuable Player of the Japan Series
CountryJapan
Presented byNippon Professional Baseball
First awarded1950
Currently held byTakuya Kai, 2018 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
An Asian male wearing a gray uniform with the lettering "NEW YORK" across it, in his after-swing pose.
Hideki Matsui won the 2000 Japan Series MVP with the Yomiuri Giants. He went on to win the 2009 World Series MVP with MLB's New York Yankees.

The Japan Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award (日本シリーズ最高殊勲選手, Nippon Shirīzu Saikō Shukun Senshu) is given to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance in the Japan Series, which is the final round of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) postseason. The award was first presented in 1950.

The series follows a best-of-seven playoff format and occurs after the two-stage Climax Series. It is played by the winners of the Central League Stage 2 series and the Pacific League Stage 2 series.[1] The most recent champions are the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, who won the 2018 series, and their catcher Takuya Kai the current holder of the award.

Kaoru Betto won the inaugural award in 1950 with the Mainichi Orions. Depending upon definitions, the first non-Japanese to win the award was either Andy Miyamoto in 1961 or Joe Stanka in 1964.[2] Fifteen Japan Series MVPs were inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame;[3] Osamu Higashio (1982) is the only Hall of Famer to have won the Japan Series MVP between 1981 and 2000. Higashio is also the first and only pitcher to appear solely as a reliever to win the Japan Series MVP. Eight of the ten Japan Series MVPs who have won the award since 2000 are still active in professional baseball—Atsuya Furuta and Takashi Ishii are the Japan Series MVPs from that period who are inactive. Hideki Matsui and Norihiro Nakamura are they only two Japan Series MVPs to play in Major League Baseball (MLB). While Nakamura's MLB career lasted less than one season, Matsui's lasted seven seasons. He became the only player to be named both a Japan Series and a World Series MVP after winning the latter award in 2009.[4] The reigning Japan Series MVP is Brandon Laird of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Sixteen of the 60[needs update] Japan Series MVPs have also won the NPB MVP or the Eiji Sawamura Award in the same season. Shigeru Sugishita (1954), Tsuneo Horiuchi (1972) and Takehiro Ishii (1992) are the only players to have won all three awards in the same season. Two players won the Eiji Sawamura Award and the Japan Series MVP in the same season: Takehiko Bessho (1955) and Takashi Nishimoto (1981). Ten players have won the Japan Series MVP in the same season in which they won the NPB MVP: Betto (1950), Bessho (1952), Kazuhisa Inao (1958), Tadashi Sugiura (1959), Shigeo Nagashima (1963), Stanka (1964), Hisashi Yamada (1977), Randy Bass (1985), Tom O'Malley (1995), Furuta (1997) and Matsui (2000).[5][6]

Five players have won the award multiple times. Nagashima has won the most Japan Series MVP awards with four wins (1963, 1965, 1969–1970). The remaining four players all won the award twice: Bessho (1952, 1955), Horiuchi (1972–1973), Kimiyasu Kudoh (1986–1987), Koji Akiyama (1991–1999) and Furuta (1997, 2001); Akiyama is the only player to have won the award with different teams. There has been one occasion on which multiple winners were awarded in the same Japan Series: Masayuki Dobashi and Masayuki Tanemo in 1962.

Pitchers have been named Series MVP 21 times, 13 of which appeared in both starting and relief roles in the Series.

Winners[edit]

Key
YearLinks to the article about that corresponding Japan Series
§
Member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
dagger
Active player
^
Indicates multiple award winners in the same Japan Series
(#)
Indicates number of times winning Japan Series MVP at that point (if he won multiple times)
YearPlayerTeamPositionSelected statisticsNote
1950Kaoru Betto§Mainichi OrionsOutfielder[7]
1951Yuko MinamimuraYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[8]
1952Takehiko Bessho§Yomiuri GiantsPitcher[9]
1953Tetsuharu Kawakami§Yomiuri GiantsFirst baseman[10]
1954Shigeru Sugishita§Chunichi DragonsPitcher[11]
1955Takehiko Bessho§ (2)Yomiuri GiantsPitcher[12]
1956Yasumitsu Toyoda§Nishitetsu LionsShortstop[13]
1957Hiroshi Ohshita§Nishitetsu LionsOutfielder[14]
1958Kazuhisa Inao§Nishitetsu LionsPitcher[15]
1959Tadashi Sugiura§Nankai HawksPitcher[16]
1960Akihito KondoTaiyō WhalesSecond baseman[17]
1961Andy MiyamotoYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[18]
1962^Masayuki DobashiToei FlyersPitcher[19]
1962^Masayuki TanemoToei FlyersCatcher[19]
1963Shigeo Nagashima§Yomiuri GiantsThird baseman[20]
1964Joe StankaNankai HawksStarting pitcher[21]
1965Shigeo Nagashima§ (2)Yomiuri GiantsThird baseman[22]
1966Isao ShibataYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[23]
1967Masaaki Mori§Yomiuri GiantsCatcher[24]
1968Shigeru TakadaYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[25]
1969Shigeo Nagashima§ (3)Yomiuri GiantsThird baseman[26]
1970Shigeo Nagashima§ (4)Yomiuri GiantsThird baseman[27]
1971Toshimitsu SuetsuguYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[28]
1972Tsuneo Horiuchi§Yomiuri GiantsPitcher[29]
1973Tsuneo Horiuchi§ (2)Yomiuri GiantsPitcher[30]
1974Sumio HirotaLotte OrionsOutfielder[31]
1975Takashi YamaguchiHankyu BravesPitcher[32]
1976Yutaka Fukumoto§Hankyu BravesOutfielder[33]
1977Hisashi Yamada§Hankyu BravesPitcher[34]
1978Katsuo Osugi§Yakult SwallowsFirst baseman[35]
1979Yoshihiko TakahashiHiroshima Toyo CarpShortstop[36]
1980Jim LyttleHiroshima Toyo CarpOutfielder[37]
1981Takashi NishimotoYomiuri GiantsStarting pitcher[38]
1982Osamu Higashio§Seibu LionsRelief pitcher[39]
1983Takuji OtaSeibu LionsOutfielder[40]
1984Kiyoyuki NagashimaHiroshima Toyo CarpOutfielder[41]
1985Randy BassHanshin TigersFirst baseman[42]
1986Kimiyasu Kudoh§Seibu LionsPitcher[43]
1987Kimiyasu Kudoh§ (2)Seibu LionsPitcher[44]
1988Hiromichi IshigeSeibu LionsShortstop[45]
1989Norihiro KomadaYomiuri GiantsFirst baseman[46]
1990Orestes DestradeSeibu LionsFirst baseman[47]
1991Koji Akiyama§Seibu LionsOutfielder[48]
1992Takehiro IshiiSeibu LionsStarting pitcher[49]
1993Kenjiro KawasakiYakult SwallowsStarting pitcher[50]
1994Hiromi MakiharaYomiuri GiantsStarting pitcher[51]
1995Tom O'MalleyYakult SwallowsFirst baseman[52]
1996Troy NeelOrix BlueWaveInfielder[53]
1997Atsuya Furuta§Yakult SwallowsCatcher[54]
1998Takanori SuzukiYokohama BayStarsOutfielder[55]
1999Koji Akiyama§ (2)Fukuoka Daiei HawksOutfielder[56]
2000Hideki MatsuiYomiuri GiantsOutfielder[57]
2001Atsuya Furuta§ (2)Yakult SwallowsCatcher[58]
2002Tomohiro NiokaYomiuri GiantsShortstop[59]
2003Toshiya SugiuchiFukuoka Daiei HawksStarting pitcher[60]
2004Takashi IshiiSeibu LionsStarting pitcher[61]
2005Toshiaki ImaedaggerChiba Lotte MarinesThird baseman[62]
2006Atsunori InabaHokkaido Nippon-Ham FightersOutfielder[63]
2007Norihiro NakamuraChunichi DragonsThird baseman[64]
2008Takayuki KishidaggerSaitama Seibu LionsPitcher[65]
2009Shinnosuke AbedaggerYomiuri GiantsCatcher[66]
2010Toshiaki Imaedagger (2)Chiba Lotte MarinesThird baseman
2011Hiroki KokuboFukuoka SoftBank HawksFirst baseman
2012Tetsuya UtsumidaggerYomiuri GiantsStarting pitcher
2013Manabu MimadaggerTohoku Rakuten Golden EaglesStarting pitcher
2014Seiichi UchikawadaggerFukuoka SoftBank HawksOutfielder
2015Dae-ho LeedaggerFukuoka SoftBank HawksFirst baseman[67]
2016Brandon LairddaggerHokkaido Nippon-Ham FightersThird baseman[68]
2017Dennis SarfatedaggerFukuoka SoftBank HawksPitcher[69]
2018Takuya KaiFukuoka SoftBank HawksCatcher[70]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Miyamoto was a Japanese-America born in Hawaii. Stanka, a native of the Oklahoma, is indisputably non-Japanese.
  3. ^ "List of Hall of Famers". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  4. ^ Armstrong, Jim (January 21, 2010). "Matsui backs idea of global World Series". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
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  69. ^ Allen, Jim (November 4, 2017). "Baseball: Hawks stave off BayStars to clinch Japan Series in 6 games". Kyodo News. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  70. ^ Coskrey, Jason (November 4, 2018). "Hawks shut out Carp in Game 6, capture back-to-back Japan Series crowns". The Japan Times. Retrieved November 4, 2018.