Alex Ramirez, Randy Bass, composer Yuji Koseki inducted into Japanese Hall of Fame

Alex Ramirez, Randy Bass, composer Yuji Koseki inducted into Japanese Hall of Fame
The list is updated to 215 names. Inductions started in 1959.

The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced that three more members were inducted during the 2023 ceremony, bringing the total to 215.

The 2023 inductees are former superstars Alex Ramirez and Randy Bass and composer Yuji Koseki.

Ramirez, 48, is a former slugging outfielder who moved to Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) after playing for the Cleveland Indians (1988-2000) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (2000) of Major League Baseball.

He played for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows (2001-2007), the Yomiuri Giants (2008-2011) and the Yokohama DeNA BaySrars (2012-2013). He led the Swallows to a Japan Series title in 2001 and repeated with the Giants in 2009. He earned Central League MVP honours in 2008 and 2009 and participated in eight All-Star games. On 6 April 2013, he became the 42nd player, the first-ever foreigner, to record 2,000 NPB hits.

Ramirez managed the Yokohama DeNA BayStars from 2016 to 2020. A Venezuelan-born, he naturalized in 2019 as a Japanese national.

Bass, 68, played first base for the Minnesota Twins (1977), Kansas City Royals (1978), Montreal Expos (1979) and San Diego Padres (1980-1982) of MLB before starting a six-year legendary career with the Hanshin Tigers of NPB. Bass led the Tigers to a Japan Series title in 1985, hitting 54 home runs, winning a triple crown and earning Central League MVP honours. He earned his second consecutive triple crown in 1986

Bass is famous in Japan for the Course of the Colonel. After the Tigers won the Japan Series in 1985, revellers called players one by one during pennant celebrations. As a player was named, a fan who looked like him jumped into a canal in Osaka's night district. When Bass was called, a fan threw in the canal a statue of Colonel sander, the mascot of Kentucky Fried Chicken. According to fans, this started a period of bad luck for the Tigers. The statue was recovered in 2009 and is currently in a Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise near Koshien Stadium.

After his retirement, Bass served in the Oklahoma Senate from 2004 to 2018.

Koseki (1909-1989) composed several famed film scores. In 1936 he wrote the Hanshin Tigers song Rokko Oroshi. In 1948 he composed the anthem for the high school National baseball championship.