When Marty Brown found work in Sendai shortly after leaving his job in Hiroshima, he joined a small group of managers to move from one Japanese club to another in the offseason.
The new Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles boss is the ninth to make the switch, joining his Eagles predecessor Katsuya Nomura. Nomura, who left the Yakult Swallows after finishing fourth in 1998 to manage the Hanshin Tigers to last place in 1999, has now been twice replaced by a man coming in from another team.
After his third straight last-place finish with Hanshin in 2001, Nomura was fired in December over his wife's arrest for tax evasion. In search of an emergency replacement, the Tigers turned to Senichi Hoshino, who had just quit the Chunichi Dragons. With a talent base largely built up by Nomura, Hoshino led the Tigers to fourth place in 2002 and to the Japan Series in 2003.
Two Hall of Fame skippers rose to fame with the Yomiuri Giants: Osamu Mihara and the man who replaced him as Giants skipper, Shigeru Mizuhara.
Mihara found fame as manager of the hard-hitting Nishitetsu Lions of the 1950s, but left the club to lead Taiyo in 1960, when the Whales went from worst to first and a Japan Series championship. Mihara had less luck the second time around when he left the Kintetsu Buffaloes after the 1970 season to manage the 1971 Yakult Atoms to last place.
Mizuhara was replaced at Yomiuri by Giants legend Tetsuhara Kawakami after 1960. His next club, the Pacific League's Toei Flyers, improved from fifth to second in 1961, and Mizuhara led them to a Series victory the following season.
The teams whose skippers moved on had an aggregate winning percentage of .506 in those managers' final seasons, and as a group improved to .522 the next year.
The clubs that hired a manager from another club, however, improved as a group from .406 the year before to .480 in their new manager's first year in charge.