Minoru Murayama

Murayama recorded the lowest career ERA in the history of Japanese baseball. He went 18-10 with a 1.19 ERA as a rookie, and registered a 1.20 ERA in 1962. He again kept his ERA under 2.00 in 1965 and 1966. A workhorse, he topped 290 innings five times in his first eight seasons, while completing as many as 26 games a year. Yet, unlike fellow iron man and rival Tadashi Sugiura, Murayama was not a strikeout pitcher. In between bouts with arm trouble, he won 24 or 25 games four times. Apparently washed up at age 32, he was appointed Hanshin’s player-manager for 1970, and was expected to ease himself out of the rotation. Instead, he picked his spots and posted a 14-3 mark with a Japanese record 0.98 ERA. Feuding with ace Yutaka Enatsu, Murayama won only seven games in 1971, and was fired.