Former Seattle Mariner closer Kazuhiro Sasaki was inducted into Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday.
Sasaki joined former Major Leaguer Hideo Nomo, who was on the Hall of Fame ballot in America for the first time in 2014, outfielder Koji Akiyama, currently the manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, and Choichi Aida, the former manager of Waseda University.
Sasaki came to the Mariners in 2000 and won the American League Rookie of the Year with 37 saves and a 3.16 ERA. In 2001, Sasaki followed his ROY campaign with 45 saves, a 3.24 ERA and a spot on the All-Star team.
He was an All-Star in 2002 as well and returned to Japan after the 2003 season. In four seasons with Seattle, Sasaki was 7-16 with a 3.14 ERA and 129 saves. In Japan, Sasaki posted a 43-38 mark with a 2.41 ERA and 252 saves. He was the Central League MVP in 1998.