Nomo's hiring marks the second-straight season the Padres have added expertise in a specific international region from outside the organization. In 2015, former Major League outfielder Moises Alou was retained in a similar capacity, focusing on player development in the minor leagues, as well as continuing to expand the club's presence in Latin America. Both Nomo and Alou join a group of baseball operations advisors that also includes former Padres Trevor Hoffman and Mark Loretta.
Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to Major League Baseball, paving the way for more than 50 other Japanese players to follow. Nomo was inducted into the Japan Hall of Fame in 2014 at the age of 45, the youngest player ever elected.
"I am very happy to join the San Diego Padres and return to Major League Baseball," said Nomo. "My hope is that my advice will be handed down to the young players of Padres. It is also an opportunity for me to learn, and I hope to help bring a World Championship to the Padres. I look forward to working with A.J Preller and all of the Padres baseball operations staff."
The right-hander historically signed to play in the Majors in 1995, going 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA in his first season with the Dodgers, also becoming the first Japanese player to play in an All-Star Game that season, starting the game for the National League. After leading the National League in strikeouts with 236 in his first season, was named the National League Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting, with his success launching a phenomenon that came to be known as "Nomomania," sparking significant interest in Major League Baseball in Japan.
Over the course of his 12-year Major League career, Nomo went 123-109 with a 4.24 ERA and 1,918 strikeouts in 1,976.1 innings. In addition to two stints with the Dodgers, Nomo also pitched for the Mets, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Rays and Royals. He also threw two no-hitters in his career, including the only no-hitter ever thrown in Coors Field history in Denver, Col.
Prior to coming to Major League Baseball, he was drafted in the first round by eight teams, which is still a Nippon Professional Baseball record and was signed by lottery winner Kintetsu Buffaloes. He won the Pacific League Rookie of the Year, Japan's Sawamura (Cy Young equivalent) Award and MVP, the only pitcher to accomplish that feat. In parts of five seasons in Japan, Nomo finished with a career 78-46 record and 3.15 ERA. During his amateur playing days, Nomo was the ace pitcher of the silver medal-winning Japan National Baseball team in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.