Sunday, January 31, 2010

Card Of The Week January 31

I mentioned earlier in my post about the Orix Anniversary set that Leon Lee was the first black manager in Japan when he managed the Blue Wave back in 2003. Lee was the hitting coach for the team and took over after Hiromichi Ishige (the former Seibu Lions infielder) was fired 20 games into the season with a record of 7-12-1. The Blue Wave went 41-76-3 in the 120 games that Lee managed. Following the season, when the Lions let Haruki Ihara go (because somehow finishing first and second in his two years of managing wasn't good enough), Orix hired him to manage and asked Lee to take his old job as hitting coach again. Instead, he returned to the States.

As far as I can tell, there's only one card of Lee as manager of the Blue Wave, and it's this 2003 BBM 2nd Version card (#774):

I got much of the background information for above from the entries for Lee, Ishige and Ihara from Japan Baseball Daily's manager section.

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