On November 9, 1995 — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo is named National League Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Japanese player ever to win a Major League Baseball award. Nomo posted a 13-6 record with 236 strikeouts and a 2.54 ERA in 191.1 innings. Nomo wins over future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.
Nomo had established himself pitching for Kintetsu, he won 78 games to 48 loses and had over 1200 strikeouts in 1065 innings pitched.
Nomo had looked for an out in his contract with NPB and they found one, It stated that if a player retired and returned to NPB, he was bound to his former team. However, there was no provision for players who retired and went to another country to play. This was Nomo’s out. After the ’94 season, he declared his retirement from NPB at age 26.
After interviewing with several major-league teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners, Nomo found a personal connection with Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and signed with the team in February 1995. After 1 Minor league start in Bakersville he made his debut May 2 vs the San Francisco Giants and he went on to have a fantastic year.
Nomo will go on to have a very good MLB Career playing for several teams. He will strikeout 200 batters 4 Times and have an era under 3 only in his rookie year. He will play 7 of his 12 years with the Dodgers having his best success in 2 stints, winning 78 of his 123 games.
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