Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners

Last week Hisashi Iwakuma signed a one year deal with the Mariners.  Iwakuma's rookie card was #388 in the 2000 BBM set when he was a member of the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.  His next "regular' issue BBM card was in the 2002 1st Version set (#191) and he's appeared in all the 1st and 2nd Version sets since then.  When Kintetsu merged with Orix following the 2004 season, he decided to join the new Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles instead of staying in Osaka with Orix.  He didn't have a Calbee card until the 2003 set (#054).  His only 2001 card commemorated his appearance in that year's Nippon Series for the Buffaloes against the Swallows - this is also his only appearance in a BBM Nippon Series set.  For someone who's been as successful as he has, it's kind of surprising that he's only made the All Star team three times (2003, 2004 and 2008) and thus only appears in three BBM All Star sets.  He played for the Japanese World Baseball Classic team in 2009 (and should have been MVP instead of Daisuke Matsuzaka) and made four appearances on the various Topps WBC card sets.

This is not a complete list, merely some of the highlights.  Check SportCardForum's Inventory Manager for a more comprehensive list.

A smattering of Iwakuma cards:

2000 BBM #388

2001 BBM Nippon Series #S38

2003 Calbee # 054

2005 BBM Eagles Box Set #E11

2007 BBM Eagles #E108

2008 BBM All Stars #A42

2009 Allen & Ginters World Baseball Classic Highlights #CB5

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