Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 Hall Of Fame class

The 2009 Japanese Baseball Hall Of Fame class was announced today and it includes Tsutomu Wakamatsu and Noboru Aota. Wakamatsu was an outfielder for the Yakult Atoms/Swallows from 1971 until 1989. He also managed them from 1999 until 2004, winning the Nippon Series in 2001 over the Buffaloes. His .319 career batting average is second only to Leron Lee's .320 for NBP batters with at least 4000 at bats. Aota played for the Giants, the Hankyu Braves, and the Taiyo Whales/Robins from 1942 until 1959, except for a stint in the military in 1944-45. According to Japan Baseball Daily, he held the career home run record (with 265) until 1963. (I'm not sure who passed him - Katsuya Nomura maybe?).

Anyway, here's some cards of the new inductees:

Wakamatsu from the 1977 Yamakatsu "JY3" set:

Wakamatsu celebrating the Swallows Championship in 2001 (2001 BBM Nippon Series #S1):

I don't have any cards of Aota from when he was actually playing, but I've got a couple from recent BBM OB sets. Here's one from the 2000 Century Best 9 set (#088):

2005 BBM Glorious Stars #017:

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