Hideo Nomo quietly retired yesterday after a 12 year career spent pitching for 7 teams.Â His career record was 123-109. His impact was much greater.
What would have happened if Nomo bombed in his first season with the Dodgers?Â That would have likely spelled the end of baseball’s interest in Japan. No Ichiro, no Hideki Matsui, no fukodome is my homey, and no stories about Kaz Matsui and his anal fissures.
It also probably would have closed the door to Asia completely. So, say goodbye to Chien Ming Wang.Â Â And while you’re at it, say goodbye to the World Baseball Classic.
And most importantly, say goodbye to the influx of billions of dollars which have helped small market teams reach semi-parity with the Yankees and the Red Sox.
Hideo Nomo was Rookie of the year in 1995, and threw 2 no hitters. But it’s his impact on the greater issues facing the game which will be his ultimate legacy.Â He’s the Curt Flood of the new Millenium.