Some baseball fans may not know who Hideo Nomo is. But he was a well-known pitcher during his time in the MLB. Before coming into the MLB, Nomo was a star pitcher in the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, the highest level of baseball in Japan.
Nomo pitched in the big leagues for 12 seasons and had success pitching for multiple teams. He was known for his slow windup approach that threw batter’s timing off. He was effective with every pitch that he threw too. He left the game of baseball with a good career.
Hideo Nomo’s MLB career
Nomo made his MLB debut in 1995 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He did not struggle in his first season at all. He finished with a 13-6 record with a 2.54 ERA and 236 strikeouts. He was named to the All-Star team as a rookie and was the National League Rookie of the Year.
The right-handed pitcher started to take the league by storm in his first season, and people quickly knew about the rookie sensation playing for the Dodgers. In his first three seasons with the Dodgers, he finished with winning seasons. His record over the three years was 43-29. His 236 strikeouts in his first season were the most strikeouts during his career.
Nomo only made one All-Star team but still had success as a pitcher. He played for six different teams and had two stints with the Dodgers. He won 16 games, the most in his career, three times doing it in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2003 during his second go-around with the Dodgers.
Nomo’s two no-hitters
Nomo tossed two no-hitters during his career. He was the first Japanese pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the MLB. His first one came in 1996 with the Dodgers. They were playing the Colorado Rockies Nomo struck out eight batters and walked four during that game. The Dodgers mobbed Nomo when he struck out the last batter for the final out, and it was a special moment for the pitcher.
His second no-hitter came in 2001 when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox. Nomo faced off against the Baltimore Orioles and struck 11 batters while only walking three. He found himself in dominating fashion again as he got his second no-hitter. “This was really something for me. I had command of my pitches and got into a rhythm as the game went on,” Nomo said.
Since 1876 the MLB has officially recognized 302 no-hitters that have been thrown. Out of those 302, Nomo can say he has two.
Overview of Nomo’s pitching career
Nomo’s last appearance in the MLB was with the Kansas City Royals in 2008. He finished his career with a 123-109 record with an ERA of 3.15 and 1,204 strikeouts. He was able to join a successful career in Japan as well as in the majors. Nomo is one of the many Japanese players that have played in the big leagues.
Not only will he be remembered in Japan, but he will be remembered across the world for his performance as a pitcher.