Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Restaurant in Osaka

Years ago, there was a day when I was a little burned out on baseball and wanted to do something that didn't involve it. My then-girlfriend (now wife) read a review in the Baltimore Sun about a restaurant in Timonium called Ralphie's Diner and wanted to check it out. Upon arrival, we discovered that the place had a bust of "Ralphie" and it turned out that he was Ralph Salvon, longtime trainer for the Orioles. Without even trying, I had managed to make an innocent trip to a restaurant baseball-related.

I was reminded of this by a recent post of Deanna Rubin's in which she goes out to dinner in Osaka and discovers that the place is owned by a former NPB player, Tadami Nakatani.

Nakatami had had a short career from 1987 to 1994 with the Tigers, Buffaloes and Blue Wave. (Hmm, he moved from the Buffaloes to Blue Wave after 1993 - wonder if there's a connection to Akira Ohgi who left the Buffaloes for the Blue Wave at the same time.) I've got a couple of his cards - none with the Tigers (who he only played in 11 games for in 1987-88). Here's his 1991 and 1994 BBM cards (#72 and 408 respectively):

1 comment:

Deanna said...

Oh, how cool!
He's a bit older now, but yeah, that's about what he looked like in the photos he had up in the restaurant that helped me piece it together. I should have known you'd have some of his cards (I've never seen them, but I bet I could find a few if I dug through boxes at a few Mint stores).

To be fair, though, I think we ended up at this restaurant entirely on purpose (that is, the girl who made the reservations did so because she knew she was taking a whole bunch of baseball dorks to a restaurant). It's just that nobody told ME that :)