Second in a four-part series

Hideo Nomo was born to a working-class family in Osaka in 1969 — his father, Shizuo, was a big, broad-shouldered fisherman turned postal worker and his mother, Kayoko, a part-time supermarket employee. He was a naturally shy, taciturn youth who hid his emotions, even from his own parents.

Said his mother, "As a little child, he was passive. He seldom talked."