Hideo Nomo Japan Newsweek Magazine – July 12, 1995
Before even joining the professional ranks, Nomo was a sensation in Japan. He was a key member of “Samurai Japan” (the national team) in various international events, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics when he was only 19 years old. He joined the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1990 and pitched at a level never before seen in NPB. He won the Pitching Triple Crown, earning him not just Rookie of the Year, but also the Sawamura Award for best pitcher and MVP of the Pacific League. He proceeded to lead the league in wins and strikeouts of his first four seasons. His NPB achievements were immortalized with his induction in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013.