Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shigeru Kobayashi

Former Giants and Tigers pitcher and lately Fighters coach Shigeru Kobayashi passed away abruptly last weekend. As Deanna points out here, he was a pretty good pitcher in the late 70's - early 80's who career is now mostly remembered as the guy traded to the Tigers for Suguru Egawa during the "Egawa Affair".

The "Egawa Affair" was when Suguru Egawa refused to sign with the teams that drafted him (first the Lions, then the Tigers) because he wanted to play for the Giants. Eventually, the Giants basically said that if he wasn't allowed to sign with them, they'd up and leave NPB. Given the popularity of the Giants compared to the rest of the league, the league caved and the Giants were allowed to trade Kobayashi to the Tigers for Egawa.

I frequently use this story to show people who compare the Giants with the Yankees that the Giants have been able to pull stuff that the Yankees can only dream of. And in case anyone thinks the Giants shenanigans are only in way in the past, remember that a couple of years back, the Hawks gave the Giants Hiroki Kokubo for nothing. Speculation at the time was that Daiei was preparing to sell the team and wanted to ensure that they had the Giants approval for whoever they sold the team to. And shortly after, they sold the team to Softbank.

Here's some cards of Kobayashi (who this post was actually meant to be about!):

That's 1975/76 Calbee #606, 1978 NST #30, 1979 Calbee "July's Best" #2 and 1979 TCMA #85.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

That's really cool, thank you for posting it. I really only ever saw him as an old guy :)