Mickey Hatsu Kitagawa


A baseball thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter.

curve ball

Any of several pitches that veer to the left when thrown with the right hand and to the right when thrown with the left hand.


Also shuuto (in Japanese) or "shootball." Japanese pitchers commonly throw this pitch, which first takes a straight path toward the plate and then, because of a slight spin on the ball, as the ball´s velocity decreases, "rolls over" and drifts in toward the batter.


Asahi hurlers

On the mound, early Asahi captain Mickey Kitagawa possessed an unusual curve ball. South-paw Ty Suga went on to pitch 17 years of consistent wins after his 1923 debut. Mickey Maikawa hurled a mix of curves, shoots and benders that kept batters guessing. Naggie Nishihara, "fireball thrower from Powell Street," and the stellar Kaz Suga were ace pitchers in the later years.


Mickey Hatsu Kitagawa, 1920. Courtesy of the Kitagawa Family.