Nakanishi at the 1954 NPB All-Star game
Born: April 11, 1933|
|March 21, 1952, for the Nishitetsu Lions|
|October 8, 1969, for the Nishitetsu Lions|
|Runs batted in||785|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Japanese|
Futoshi Nakanishi (中西 太 Nakanishi Futoshi, born April 11, 1933) is a Japanese former professional baseball infielder, coach, and manager. He spent all of his playing career with the Nishitetsu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball, and served as player-manager of the team from 1962 to 1969. Nakanishi also managed the Nippon Ham Fighters, Hanshin Tigers, Yakult Swallows, and Chiba Lotte Marines. He coached for the Swallows, Kintetsu Buffaloes, Yomiuri Giants, and Orix BlueWave.
Nakanishi began playing baseball in junior high school. At the time, his team did not have any baseball equipment. The group practiced side by side with the American soldiers stationed in Japan after World War II. Nakanishi and his teammates would pick up and practice with baseballs military personnel had left behind. During his high school baseball career, Nakanishi played in the Japanese High School Baseball Championship three times. He had planned to attend Waseda University, but his parents negotiated Nakanishi's first contract with the Nishitetsu Lions without his consent. He hit 12 home runs in his rookie season and subsequently decided to hone his power stroke. Due to his small build, Nakanishi had to twist and contort his body during at bats to generate power. He came close to the Triple Crown in four seasons, (1953, 1955, 1956, 1958) but never won. In 1953, Isami Okamoto led the league in hits, while Nakanishi finished second. In 1955, Nakanishi lost the RBI title to Kazuhiro Yamauchi. The next year, he finished second in batting average to teammate Yasumitsu Toyoda. In 1958, Takao Katsuragi denied Nakanishi the RBI title for the second time. Nakanishi was spiked during the 1959 season, and suffered tendonitis in his wrist in 1960. He played through the wrist injury in a bid to improve his arm strength. However, both injuries sapped his effectiveness as a player and he succeeded Tokuji Kawasaki as Lions' manager in 1962, playing the field occasionally until 1969.
For most of his own playing career, Nakanishi was managed by Osamu Mihara. Nakanishi married Mihara's daughter Toshiko in 1956.