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Monday, April 15, 2024

Yoshi Okamoto has had long sports career: Baseball Profiles

Yoshi Okamoto 1990 Salinas Spurs card

Asked in 2015 to name some of the more influential people in his long and varied career in the sports business, Yoshi Okamoto cited influences from throughout his career, for

He cited New Jersey Nets executive Jon Spoelstra, and minor league baseball team owners Bobby Brett and Joe Buzas, all of whom Okamoto had worked with over more than a quarter century in sports, wrote.

"I've had the chance to work under them during my career in the United States, and I'm thankful for the fair opportunities they gave me despite the language barrier," Okamoto told the site.

Okamoto's long sports career began in the United States with the Salinas Spurs, owned by Joe Buzas.

Okamoto graduated from Chuo in Tokyo, where he played baseball. He found his way to Salinas by 1989, described in one account that summer as an intern. 

By the start of 1990, Okamoto was the team's operations manager. He then shared general manager duties after the original GM departed mid-year.

By 1993, Okamoto was with the Nets, as team director of international marketing

To start 1996, he had the title New Jersey-based sports consultant as he worked with Team Japan, getting ready for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

"Everything's perfect so far," Okamoto told The Fort Myers News-Press in February 1996 of early workouts there.

Okamoto joined the Twins as director of Pacific Rim Baseball operations by 2003. He commented to The News-Press that March on new Yankee Hideki Matsui and how powerful Matsui might be for fans.

"If he hits 30 homers it will be great," Okamoto told The News-Press.

He then became a part-owner of a minor league team himself, the Tri-City Dust Devils.

Yoshi Okamoto 1990 Salinas Spurs card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,351
Made the Majors:1,401-32.2%
Never Made Majors:2,950-67.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:570
10+ Seasons in the Minors:352

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