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I am currently translating a novel called もしドラ by 岩崎夏海, upon checking through again, I've come across this baseball related term 野手の要 that initially I thought meant 'the fielder, Yoshi':

野手の要、キャッチャーの柏木次郎はこう言った:

??, the catcher, Kashiwagi Jiro, said this:

I can see now that this is a specific baseball term, but after researching at length, I can't find a satisfactory translation.

Many thanks in advance!

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「要{かなめ}」 means the "key player" or the "most important player" in this context.

This word is used very often in team sports. Please remember how it is read as well as its meaning.

In baseball, 「野手{やしゅ}」 refers to all players except for the pitchers. The pitchers are called 「投手{とうしゅ}」.

「野手の要」, therefore, means "the most important among the non-pitching staff" even though it is a mouthful. In a context where one would clearly know that it is the non-pitching staff that are being talked about, you could just use "the most important player" instead.

  • Great, thanks for that, lifesaver! I was thinking 最優秀選手 was MVP, though I know very little about sports or baseball for that matter. – user18083 Jan 13 '17 at 18:48
  • @user18083 Originally it refers to the linchpin of a fan. Seemingly "linchpin" can be used figuratively in English, too. – naruto Jan 14 '17 at 2:31

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