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Yutaka Enatsu (江夏 豊, Enatsu Yutaka, born May 15, 1948 in Nara Prefecture, raised in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture) is a former Japanese pitcher regarded as one of the best Japanese strikeout pitchers of all-time. In 1968, he recorded 401 strikeouts, which is still the world record.

Yutaka Enatsu
Born: (1948-05-15) May 15, 1948 (age 71)
Nara Prefecture, Japan
Batted: Left Threw: Left
NPB debut
1967, for the Hanshin Tigers
Last appearance
July 12, 1984, for the Seibu Lions
NPB statistics
Career highlights and awards

Enatsu was a bit player in the Black Mist Scandal which embroiled Japanese baseball from 1969–1971. In November 1970 he received a stern warning from the Central League president due to "involvement with persons in baseball gambling."

He recorded 9 consecutive strikeouts in one of the 1971 All-Star games,[1][2] and 15 consecutive strikeouts in three of the All-Star games between 1970 and 1971. His consecutive strikeouts were broken up by Katsuya Nomura. The two records are still unbroken.

A starting pitcher for the first part of his career, in 1977 he became a relief specialist, altogether accumulating 193 saves.

While playing with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in 1979, Enatsu was the Central League MVP, as he compiled a 9-5 record with a 2.67 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 104-2/3 innings. That year the Carp won the Central League pennant and the Japan Series.

In 1981, with the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Enatsu was the Pacific League MVP, garnering 25 saves and a 2.82 ERA, as the Fighters won the Pacific League pennant.

In 1985, he attempted to play in Major League Baseball, but generated little interest because at 36 years old, he was near the end of his career.

In popular cultureEdit

Enatsu is a major shadow-figure in Yōko Ogawa's novel The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase no ai shita sūshiki, 博士の愛した数式, 2003).


  1. ^ 江夏氏 伝説再現をダルビッシュ&杉内に期待 (in Japanese). Sports Nippon. May 26, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  2. ^ 梨田監督、球宴でダルに9連続K狙わせる (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. May 26, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2011.

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