Sunday, February 10, 2013

Shozo Yoshinari, Ambidextrous Pitcher from Japan, 1966

Shozo Yoshinari
Born: 1946, Japan
High School: Akita High School
Team: Tokyo Giants

Height/Weight: 5' 11", 175 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Both (ambidextrous)
Positions: RHP/LHP
Pitches: Fastball, Curve, Slider -- with both hands

In 1966, Shozo Yoshinari, a was young Japanese pitcher who could throw from either side. He worked out with the Giants' Fresno team in the California League. He pitched in the minors briefly, but never made the majors.
"I saw him pitch his Akita High School team to the Japanese National Championships, winning three games in three starts in the national tournament finals in 1964," scout Cappy Harada said.
"He pitched all three of those games right handed. I saw him again that same year, pitching left handed in an exhibition game for the Tokyo Giants."
Harada said that Yoshinari has excellent control, keeps the ball low and throws good curves and sliders -- with either hand. (Arizona Republic, 1966)

Found on

New Giant Hurler Throws Both Ways
Herald-Journal, March 26, 1966

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) --
The New York Giants have come up with a baseball phenomenon -- a switch-pitcher. 

He is Shozo Yoshinari, a young Japanese player who can throw from either side. He is working out with the Giants' Fresno team in the California League.

"I started out a a natural left-hander," Yoshinari explained through an interpreter (he doesn't speak English). "I pitched both ways in high school. Now I pitch mostly right-handed."

"I throw harder right-handed, but my curve ball is better from the left side."

Two Pitchers in One
The Virgin Island Daily News, March 29, 1966

It had to happen sometime, and the result may be a "complete" pitcher -- one who is effective with both right and left arms.

The San Francisco Giants, who consider Japan a promising area for talent, have reached across the Pacific and snared Shozo Yoshinari, a 20-year old six-footer who has starred (ambidextrously) with the Tokyo Giants.

If the young man proves himself a big-leaguer with either arm, he'll make switch-hitters weep, confound base runners -- and perhaps his own catcher. There's nothing in the rule book whitch says a pitcher can't operate from either side.

Yoshinari is reportedly more effective as a right-hander than a lefty, and baseball authorities think he'd be wise to abandon portside throwing.

We hope he doesn't. The game needs innovations, and a two-way pitcher certainly would be one.

Both Arms Fail to Make the Grade
Herald-Journal, April 1, 1966

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) --
Shozo Yoshinari, the ambidextrous pitcher from Japan, has failed to show enough ability with either arm to impress the San Francisco Giants.

Jack Schwarz, administrative secretary of the farm system, said Thursday that Yahinari will be released.

"We don't think that he can help us," Schwarz said.

Read article

Guilds Open 21st Season
Lodi News-Sentinel, April 5, 1966

Tony Zupo, the field boss of the Guilds since they were organized in 1946, plans to use ambidextrous Shozo Yoshinari from Japan and Guild veteran Butch McCormack on the mound against Vacaville.

The 20 year old Yoshinari, after being cut loose by the San Francisco Giants organization last month, came to Lodi through the efforts of Cappy Harada, the general manager of the California League Lodi Crushers.

New Giant Hurler Throws Both Ways .

Shozo Yoshinari -

1966 Lodi Crushers -

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