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Hideo Nomo

Baseball Player

Born: 31 August 1968
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
Best known as: The "tornado"-style pitcher with two no-hitters
Nomo was the second Japanese native to pitch in the American major leagues, and the first to play most of his career there. His 1995 debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers was closely watched by fans in the U.S. and Japan. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1995, and threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies on 17 September 1996. Nomo also grew famous for his unorthodox "tornado" delivery, twisting his body around with hands held high before each pitch. On 4 April 2001 he threw another no-hitter, this time while with the Boston Red Sox. The feat made him only the fourth pitcher to throw a no-hitter in both the American and National leagues; the others were Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan Ryan. Nomo returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2002-2004 seasons, then played for Tampa Bay (2005) and, in a brief comeback, Kansas City (2008). He retired on 17 July 2008.
Extra credit: Nomo won a silver medal in 1988 as part of the Japanese Olympic baseball squad... He played for the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japanese major leagues from 1990-94... The first native Japanese to pitch in the American major leagues was Masanori Murakami, who played for the San Francisco Giants in 1964-65.

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