3rd Base Fourth
3rd Base 4th (4番サード Yoban Sādo) is a one-volume shōnen sports manga by Gosho Aoyama. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday between 1991-1993, lasting a total of six chapters. The premise revolves around the final tournament of high school baseball, the Koushien, which is played every year at the Hanshin Koushien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Japan.
Shigeo Nagashima is third baseman on Kohnan High School's baseball team. However, he isn't a very good player until he happens to purchase a baseball bat from a strange little store. As he discovers, the bat is magical—whenever he steps up to the plate with money in his back pocket, the money vanishes and he always hits the ball. The more money he pays in this manner to the mysterious shopkeeper who sold him the bat, the farther the ball flies. A friend, Yutaka Enatsu, gives Shigeo a part-time job at his café to earn money for the baseball bat.
Kohnan manages to reach the Koushien, where they face Ougane High School for the championship title. On the opposing team is pitcher Kazuhisa Inao, whose baseball glove is also magical and can throw extremely powerful fastballs. He must also pay for this ability, but as the son of a wealthy business family, he can easily afford the cost. How can Shigeo, who must work hard at his part-time job for every yen, hope to compete?
|Shigeo Nagashima||Main character of the story. Wields "The Bat of God".|
|Kazuhisa Inao||Shigeo's baseball rival. Wields "The Glove of God".|
Appearances in other media
Shigeo and Kazuhisa cameo in Detective Conan in Miracle at Koshien Ball Park! The Defiants Face the Dark Demon (2 Hour Special), the adaptation of manga files 445-449, the Koshien Bomber Case. Kohnan and Ougane are the two teams facing off for the Koshien title during the case. There is more time spent showing the baseball game and the players in the anime special than the manga arc.
The two main characters' names are from Shigeo Nagashima (長嶋 茂雄) and Kazuhisa Inao (稲尾 和久), both of whom are well-known Japanese baseball players in real life. Please note that there are some differences in kanji, though in both cases the pronunciation is the same. The real Shigeo Nagashima and his son Kazushige Nagashima appear in the Magic Kaito chapter The Boy Who Bet On the Ball collected in volume 2.