Hideo Nomo's 1996-97 Off Season News

1997 Baseball Camp for Nomo

Nomo leaves Japan
Nomo left Japan with Makoto "Mac" Suzuki on Feb.13 from Narita Airport. Mac of the Seattle Mariners and Nomo have been training together in Tokyo to prepare for the coming seaon. Nomo will be going into camp with the Los Angeles Dodgers from Feb.15 in Florida while Mac will be joining his team in Arizona.

1996 Post Season for Nomo

Awarded in Japan
Toyota presented Nomo with a golden key to their luxury car on Nov.19. The vehicle is worth 6 million yen. The gift is to reward Nomo for achieving a no hitter game in September. He has a contract with Toyoda, and appears in their commercials.

Nomo pitches in the '96 Super Major Series
He pitched on November 2, on the second of the 8 day series played between the US Major League players and Japanese all-stars. Initially, Nomo was going to pitch 2 innings. He pitched an extra inning though because he was doing so well. Ichiro was the only Japan player to ground Nomo's pitch to the center in the 1st inning. Nomo certainly brought a great excitement to the spectators at the Tokyo Dome and those watching TV at home. There were fans wearing Dodger uniforms and holding up signs with his name. The moment he walked toward the pitcher's mound, everybody was flashing their camera's. Catching his ball was Mike Piazza. So the stage was perfectly set in Tokyo for those who'd dreamed of seeing Nomo in his own country.

He was the starting pitcher again on November 7 for the 6th game of the series. He mentioned that he actually asked to pitch that day. The site of that game, Koshien Stadium is located between Kobe and Osaka, quite near where Nomo grew up. He had friends and relatives coming to watch him from the stands. Of course, the stadium was packed with fans who longed to see the topnotch hero from their hometown. However, Nomo didn't pitch as well as he did the previous time. He lost 4 runs in the 4th inning. Yutaka Wada tripled to bring home 3 runners. And Nomo's former rival Kazuhiro Kiyohara drove in another run. Nomo though didn't seem to be disappointed about his performance in the game. Nomo said after the All-Star Games that he will go back to the US in February.
Michiyo's Note I wonder when we'll be able to see Nomo pitch in Japan again.

Nomo returned to Japan on October 18. He held a press conference at Narita Airport. Nomo mentioned to the press that he is happy with his achievement this season. He also disclosed his will to play on the US all star team for the Japan- US baseball matches scheduled in November.

Later in the evening--actually at midnight!--Nomo appeared on a TV news program in all smiles. Nomo gave his prediction of the Japan Series. He said he believes the Blue Wave will win 4 games to 2.

Michiyo's Note: Nomo was pretty close with his prediction of the Japan Series!