I have been a Nomo fan since he started his MLB career with LA. Since then he has played for many teams, for both AL and NL. He’s seen ups (rookie of the year) and downs (…playing for the Tigers…), but he’s always been a fighter. He pitches hard, hell bent on not chaning his unorthodox style of delivery. Whether he’s down by 8 runs or about to get his 8th strikeouts, his expression never changes.
He’s somewhat like Ichiro in that he dislikes being treated special just because he’s Japanese, and he’s not exactly media-friendly. Maybe that’s why you don’t hear much about his softer side — such as kick-starting (and funding it until a major sponsor is found) a new amateur baseball club in Japan to provide more playing opportunities. The tough economy in Japan is forcing many amateur clubs — including the one Nomo himself played for — to close down. Acts like this one, and the few modest comments he makes after the games, are what Nomo fans really admire about him. If any athlete was to be a role model, I’d nominate Hideo Nomo. Keep up the tornado!
By the way, Lucretia and I got on TV at the game!