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Meikyukai (Golden Players Club) 名球会

The Golden Players Club is a friendship club open to past and present Japanese professional baseball players born in the Showa Era (1926~1988). Membership requirements for pitchers are over 200 wins and 250 saves, and for batters, 2000 hits or more. No other friendship organization exists in Japan for professional baseball players, or athletes of any other sport, that has such a high standard for membership.

The Golden Players Club was founded on July 24, 1978, with 18 members, including eight pitchers and ten fielders. Famous players such as pitcher Masaichi Kaneda, with 400 wins, Sadaharu Oh, whose 868 world-record homeruns exceeds Hank Aaron’s record, and Shigeo Nagashima, often called “Mr. Pro Baseball,” were among early members most representative of Japanese baseball.

The membership requirements were later changed for active players to over 200 wins for pitchers and 2000 hits for fielders. And yet, leading players from every Japanese professional ball club joined the Golden Players Club one after another. Over time, the Golden Players Club came to be synonymous with “Who’s Who” in Japanese professional baseball.

In December 2003, the membership requirement of 250 saves or greater was added. Entry rules also were changed slightly to account for players’ performance in the Major Leagues. This prompted the Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro, who established the most hits in a season, as well as Kazuhiro Sasaki (also of the Seattle Mariners) and Shingo Takatsu (Chicago White Sox) , who both played spectacularly as closers, to also join the Golden Players Club. Currently, 56 professional players – 19 pitchers and 37 fielders – are members of the Club, including some who are still active players. The New York Yankees’ Hideki Matsui also fulfilled the membership requirements and became the second Major League player, after Ichiro, to join the Golden Players Club, with his aggregate records in Japan and the United States. Both in name and reality, the Golden Players Club members have proved to the world that Japan has outstanding players with records exceeding those established by Matsui and Ichiro.

With the aim to promote baseball and contribute to society, the Golden Players Club engages in wide-ranging activities and sporting events, including baseball classes for youth and their parents, lectures, and charity golf tournaments, while also actively participating in local cultural programs and various other events. Of particular note are Youth Baseball Classes, which have been held 15 times a year for the past 18 years. The Golden Players Club has organized over 250 friendship games and baseball courses across Japan. These efforts have been instrumental in making baseball all the more popular among the general public, true to the founding principle of the Golden Players Club.

BattersPitchers
AKIYAMA, Koji
秋山幸二
HIGASHIO, Osamu
東尾修
ARAI, Hiromasa
新井宏昌
HIRAMATSU Masaji
平松政次
ARITO, Michio
有藤通世
HORIUCHI, Tsuneo
堀内恒夫
DOI, Masahiro
土井正博
INAO, Kazuhisa
稲尾和久
ETO, Shinichi
江藤慎一
KANEDA, Masaichi
金田正一
FUJITA, Taira
藤田平
KAJIMOTO, Takao
梶本隆夫
FUKUMOTO, Yutaka
福本豊
KITABEPPU, Manabu
北別府学
FURUTA, Atsuya
古田敦也
KUDO, Kimiyasu
工藤公康
HARIMOTO, Isao
張本勲
KOYAMA, Masaaki
小山正明
HIROSE, Yasunori
広瀬叔功
MINAGAWA, Mutsuo
皆川睦雄
ISHII, Takuro
石井琢朗
MURATA, Choji
村田兆治
KADOTA, Hiromitsu
門田博光
MURAYAMA, Minoru
村山実
KANEMOTO, Tomoaki
金本知憲
NOMO, Hideo
野茂英雄
KATO, Hideji
加藤秀司
SASAKI, Kazuhiro
佐々木主浩
KINUGASA, Sachio
衣笠祥雄
SUZUKI, Keishi
鈴木啓示
KIYOHARA, Kazuhiro
清原和博
TAKATSU, Shingo
高津臣吾
KOMADA, Norihiro
駒田徳広
YAMADA, Hisashi
山田久志
MAEDA, Tomonori
前田智徳
YAMAMOTO, Masahiro
山本昌広
MATSUBARA, Makoto
松原誠
YONEDA, Tetsuya
米田哲也
MATSUI, Hideki
松井秀喜
MATSUI, Kazuo
松井稼頭央
NAGASHIMA, Shigeo
長嶋茂雄
NOMURA, Katsuya
野村克也
NOMURA, Kenjiro
野村謙二郎
OH, Sadaharu
王貞治
OOSUGI, Katsuo
大杉勝男
OSHIMA, Yasunori
大島康徳
SHIBATA, Isao
柴田勲
SUZUKI, Ichiro
鈴木一朗(イチロー)
TAKAGI, Morimichi
高木守道
TANAKA, Yukio
田中幸雄
TATSUNAMI, Kazuyoshi
立浪和義
WAKAMATSU, Tsutomu
若松勉
YAMAMOTO, Koji
山本浩二
YAMAUCHI, Kazuhiro
山内一弘
YAMAZAKI, Hiroyuki
山崎裕之
YAZAWA, Kenichi
谷沢健一

As of February 2010


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