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Two Hawks make Best Nine

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Two Hawks make Best Nine
For the first time in both their careers, Hitoshi Tamura and Tsuyoshi Wada have made the Pacific League Best Nine.

In a tightly-contested ballot, the Hawks lefty, who had a career year with 17 wins, received 59 votes. Chihiro Kaneko finished second with 53 votes (he finished tied for the league lead in wins with Wada), and Yu Darvish finished third with 50 votes.

The outfield spots were not as close as the pitching vote, as the top three were awarded the spots. Nevertheless, Tamura led outfielders with 195 votes, while Orix's Takahiro Okada (T-Okada) finished second with 157 votes. Seibu outfielder Takumi Kuriyama finished third with 111 votes.

The two Hawks stars were two of six players on this year's Best Nine vote that were first-timers. The others were Rakuten catcher Motohiro Shima, who ran away with the vote, Nippon Ham third baseman Eiichi Koyano, T-Okada, and Lotte DH Kazuya Fukuura.

In the Central League, there were five first-time members of the Best Nine, three of them from Hanshin. Craig Brazell won the award at first base, Keiichi Hirano won at second, Masahiko Morino from Chunichi won for the first time at third base, super-gaijin Matt Murton won a well-deserved award in the outfield, and Kenta Maeda from Hiroshima was a near-unanimous vote at pitcher.
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