The Red Sox wrapped up the American League pennant last night by defeating the Tigers 5-2 in Game Six of the ALCS (and 4 games to 2 for the series). Koji Uehara closed the game out for the Sox for his third save of the Series. He also was the winning pitcher in Game Two, so he either won or saved all four of the Red Sox victories. He was named the MVP of the ALCS, the first Japanese player ever so honored.
It's kind of interesting - there were two big rookie pitchers in NPB in 1999. Daisuke Matsuzaka went 16-5 with an ERA of 2.60 for the Lions to win the Rookie Of The Year Award in the Pacific League. Uehara went 20-4 with an ERA of 2.09 to win both the Central League Rookie Of The Year Award and the Sawamura Award. Both pitchers have gone on to help the Red Sox make it to the World Series - Matsuzaka in 2007 and now Uehara this year,
Here's Uehara's card from the 1999 BBM Mr. Giants set. This set was a biographical set for Shigeo Nagashima (aka Mr. Giants). One of the subsets in the set features Giants players who were taken number one in the draft while Nagashima was manager. This is Uehara's card (#G95) from that subset.