The Meikyukai

» 19 August 2009 » In nichibei, npb »

With Kaz Matsui becoming the latest player to enter the Meikyukai by surpassing a total of 2000 hits between NPB and MLB, it seems like a good time to address what the Meikyukai is and how players can enter the Golden Players Club.

The Meikyukai was first organized by Masaichi Kaneda in 1978 as a voluntary organization, but quickly became a corporate organization built by former players with Kaneda as the president and Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh as co-vice presidents. The Meikyukai was organized with the goals of giving back to disadvantaged in the community and contributing to build the grass roots of professional baseball. Main activities of the club includes teaching classes to the younger generations, promoting baseball and participating in volunteer activities throughout the communities.

In order to join the Meikyukai, there are some milestones players need to surpass. Pitchers are able to join after earning 200 or more wins or 250 saves. On the other hand, position players need to surpass the total of 2000 hits. The regulations changed in November 2003, such that the numbers can be a total combined from both NPB and the MLB. Three current players on MLB rosters have made it in to the Meikyukai; Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, and now Kaz Matsui of the Houston Astros. The list of every player in the Meikyukai can be seen here.

The next pitcher in line to join the Meikyukai are Masahide Kobayashi, who is 17 saves shy. Tuffy Rhodes, were he eligible, would need 114 more hits (as of 8/16; thanks to commentor passerby for the clarification). A list of the other players nearing induction can be found on the Meikyukai’s website.

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  1. Ryo
    19/08/2009 at 9:27 am Permalink

    You forgot two other requirements. A player has to be born in the Showa era and start his professional career in Japan. Tetsuharu Kawakami was born in the Taisho era and Tuffy Rhodes started his professional career in the US. In other news, Alfonso Soriano surpassed 1500 hits recently.

  2. Ryo
    20/08/2009 at 5:32 am Permalink

    Thanks for the clarification, will make the note and revise the article.

  3. Ryo
    20/08/2009 at 6:08 am Permalink

    As an aside, according to this there are two qualified players who are NOT members – Hiromitsu Ochiai (who declined membership) and Yutaka Enatsu (who gave up his membership due to a drug scandal).


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