Johannesburg Zebras (1997)
Inducted into Hall of Fame: 2003
What can we say about Noto Otoyo? Really, that isn't a rhetorical question. Otoyo is not only the first player enshrined into the Weaverball Hall of Fame, he is also by far the most obscure.
Little is known about him, other than the fact that he played one season at third base for the Johannesburg Zebras, retiring before the team relocated to Belfast. Rumor has it that this native of Japan had toiled for years in the Japanese minor leagues, although officials point out that there is no record of him ever playing. It's possible that Otoyo himself made up this story in order to get a tryout with a Weaver League club. Most teams passed on him, but Johannesburg, desparate for talent, invited him to spring training. Otoyo overcame the odds to win the starting third base job, and the talent poor Zebras proceeded to lose 132 games. Attendance was so poor that not even the hometown fans seemed to notice Otoyo's efforts. When the lack of fan support led to the sale and move of the team, Otoyo quietly stepped into the shadows as he retired from professional baseball to persue his dream of becoming an ostrich rancher.
later, he somehow found himself as the founding member of the Weaverball
Hall of Fame.