Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shigenobu Shima

I was not going to do any write ups on any players retiring from teams that were still playing in the post season but I've decided to go ahead and do one for Shigenobu Shima of the Lions because after only getting in 9 games this year (all as a pinch hitter I think) I'm fairly confident that he's not going to be playing in the post season (which may end for the Lions tomorrow anyway).

Shima was the second round pick of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the 1995 draft.  He was actually drafted as a pitcher and spent his first few seasons on the mound, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two appearances with the ichi-gun Carp in 1997.  His rookie card in #542 in the 1995 BBM set.

1995 BBM #542

Following some arm issues, the Carp decided to make a batter out of him, moving him to first base and the outfield.  He was pretty much a part time player until the 2004 season.

2000 BBM #251

His debut as a full time player in 2004 was spectacular.  He ended up leading the league in batting (.337) and hits (189) as well as hitting 32 home runs with 84 RBIs.  He made the All Star team as well as the Best 9 team for the only time in his career.

2004 BBM All Stars # A29

2005 BBM 1st Version #498

2005 BBM 1st Version Best 9 #BN18

Shima had had only a handful of baseball cards prior to his breakout 2004 season.  He'd only appeared in the 1995, 1996 and 2000 BBM flagship sets as well as the 2000 Future Bee Power League set.  His first Calbee card was not until 2004 (#149).

Shima's numbers fell off following 2004.  He had 27 home runs in 2005 and 24 in 2006 but he only hit above .300 one more time - .309 in 2008.  He started to have some injury issues that ended up limiting the number of games he would play in in 2009 and 2011.

2008 BBM Hiroshima Memorial #45

I'm not positive, but I think Shima was traded to the Lions in the spring of 2012 (Gary Garland says March of 2011 but that's probably a typo as he appeared in 54 games with the Carp in 2011.)  He's spent most of the last two seasons with in the minors, only appearing in 36 games total with the ichi-gun team.

2012 BBM Lions #L98

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