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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Masahiro Kuboto knew acupuncture: Baseball Profiles

Masahiro Kuboto 1990 Salinas Spurs card

Masahiro Kuboto may not have been interesting enough to name, but what he did was.

Kuboto served as the trainer for the 1990 Salinas Spurs and his specialty was acupuncture, something writers featuring the unusual minor league that melded players from Japan and the United States invariably referenced, though without actually naming Kuboto.

"The eight (Japanese) players - plus the Japanese manager, batting coach and trainer specializing in acupuncture - belong to the Salinas Spurs," The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote in a feature on the team that June.

Kuboto actually joined the team through its Japanese manager Hide Koga. Koga brought Kuboto with him to be trainer and to administer acupuncture to players when needed, The Associated Press wrote in a story that also did not name Kuboto. This version put the acupuncture reference in the headline.

Kuboto grew up in Nagoya City, Japan, located between Tokyo and Osaka. He went to school in Tokyo and made that his off-season home, according to his card back

He actually graduated that March in 1990 from Acupuncture/Chiropractic College in Japan. He also had an acupuncture/massage license, his card reads.

Kuboto also got a reference in a New York Daily News article that May on Salinas, also not by name, as "a trainer who specializes in acupuncture."

That season appeared to be Kuboto's only season in the minors.

Masahiro Kuboto 1990 Salinas Spurs card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,352
Made the Majors:1,401-32.2%
Never Made Majors:2,951-67.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:570
10+ Seasons in the Minors:352

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