Today in Swallows History: Happy Birthday, Masanori Ishikawa

Ishikawa is a beautiful blend of quality and class.

On this day in 1980, Masanori Ishikawa was born in Akita Prefecture. He joined the Tokyo Swallows at the end of 2001 when he was selected in the first round by the Japan Series champion Tokyo Swallows.

There was no delay in his introduction to top team baseball, and he quickly found himself a weekly contributor to the team’s title-defense efforts. He went 12-9 with a 3.33 ERA in his rookie season and brought home Central League Rookie of the Year honors in 2002.

In 2006, Ishikawa became only the third pitcher in NPB history to record at least 10 wins in each of his first five seasons as a pro.

In 2008, he won a Golden Glove. To this day, he is the only Tokyo Swallows pitcher to ever earn that distinction.

In 2011, Ishikawa threw just over 178 innings and finished up with a 2.73 ERA.

Happy birthday, Masanori. We here at Tsubamegun salute you for your durability and willingness to help the young guys on the team. You’re a class act.

Best of luck this season!

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini