Today in Swallows History: Welcome to Pro Baseball, Mr. Takatsu

Takatsu saved 286 games for the Swallows.

On this day in 1991, Shingo Takatsu made his NPB debut for the Swallows. Selected in the third round of the 1990 draft out of Asia University, he was first used as a starter but only won a few games during his first two seasons on the top team.

It wasn’t until the 1993 season that he got a shot at closing games, and the Swallows won the Japan Series that year, a feat that they had fallen short of the year before. Takatsu was also the Swallows’ closer for the team’s Japan Series titles in 1995 and 2001.

The sidearm, slow sinker specialist is perhaps best known for not allowing a single run in his 11 Japan Series appearances from which he earned eight saves.

286 NPB saves puts him second on the all-time list behind Chunichi’s current closer, Hitoki Iwase. Throw his MLB saves in there, and he’s at 313 total.

Takatsu is back in Japan now after stints in the majors, where he won a World Series with the 2005 Chicago White Sox, KBO, and Taiwan’s pro league. He can also be seen on TV quite regularly in Japan as a baseball analyst and commentator.

When Tsubamegun owns the team, we promise to give you a proper sendoff, Mr. Takatsu!

 

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

  • Kozo

    More specifically, Takatsu is currently the playing manager of the Niigata Albirex in the Japanese Independent league.