Nikkei Baseball Texas Ties: Jose Honma Nakamura


Jose Honma Nakamura is a Japanese-Cuban pitcher who began his pro baseball career in the U.S. in 1949 with the Abilene Blue Sox of the West Texas-New Mexico League. He was born in Cuba on July 28, 1928, to Japan-native parents, father Heiji Honma and mother Sakuya Nakamura, who left California to seek a better life as workers in the sugar cane industry of the islands. Sadly, his parents were incarcerated after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Jose began his career with Cienfuegos and the Havana Cubans before scout Joe Cambria encouraged him to sign in the U.S. In his first season in Abilene, Jose notched an 8-4 record and led the team with a .667 winning percentage. At an athletic 5 ft 10 inches, 145 lbs, he also played infield and outfield. He worked his way through the minors reaching the AAA level in 1956 with the Louisville Colonels, an affiliate of the Washington Senators. Nakamura finished out his pro career in Mexico with a 12-6 record during the 1956-59 seasons with Yucatan and Vera Cruz, sharing pitching duties with Negro Leagues and Brooklyn Dodgers star Dan Bankhead


Note 1: Jose Nakamura's parents are buried in Whittier, CA, suggesting the possibility that he and/or his family returned to California. Below are records from that provide more insight into that possibility. 


Rose Hills Memorial Park
Also known as Whittier Heights Memorial Park
Whittier, Los Angeles County, California, USA

Heiji Honma
unknown – 18 Jan 1981

Sakuya Honma
unknown – 9 Apr 1989


Heiji Honma in the U.S., Index to Alien Case Files,1944-2003
Name Heiji Honma
Birth Date 19 May 1896
Birth Place Japan
Arrival Date 10 Nov 1970
Arrival Place Miami, Florida
Registration Number 19610605

Sakuya Honma in the California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997

Name Sakuya Honma
[Sakuya Nakamura]
Social Security # 566210786
Gender Female
Birth Date 25 Apr 1901
Birth Place Japan
Death Date 9 Apr 1989
Death Place Los Angeles
Mother's Maiden Name Nakamura
Father's Surname Nakamura


Note 2: incorrectly refers to Jose Nakamura as Jiro Nakamura. They are two different people. 

Jiro Nakamura was a lefthanded pitcher who signed with the 1949 Modesto Reds and the San Jose Zebras in the early 1950s. Here's a record from  

Jiro Nakamura in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Name Jiro Nakamura
Gender Male
Birth Date 6 Oct 1929
Birth Place Centerville, California
Death Date Jun 1986