Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tomonori Maeda

Yet another player who has retired as of the end of the season is Tomonori Maeda, longtime Hiroshima Toyo Carp.  Maeda was drafted by the Carp in the fourth round of the 1990 draft (held in the fall of 1989).  He made his debut with the ichi-gun Carp in the 1990 season and has played for no one else during his entire 24 year career (well, 23 years according to Baseball Reference as he missed the entire 2009 season).

Maeda's rookie card is from the debut BBM issue in 1991 (#14).  He is one of only four players who have appeared in at least one of BBM's flagship's sets each year since 1991 - he, Takeshi Yamasaki and Masa Yamamoto have been in either a 1st or 2nd Version set from 2002-2013 as well as the regular set from 1991-2001.  Motonobu Tanishige has been in every regular set from 1991-2001 as well as each 1st and 2nd Version set from 2002-2013.  His first Calbee card was #99 in the 1992 set.

1991 BBM #14

Except for time missed with injury, Maeda was one of the starting outfielders for the Carp from 1991 to 2008.  He hit over .300 several times and hit more than 30 home runs once, in 2005.  He ended up with a career batting average of .302 with 295 home runs.

1994 Calbee Hokkaido #C-5

1999 The TV Sports

2003 Calbee #113

2005 Lotte #12

2008 BBM 2nd Version #607

After coming back from injury in 2010, Maeda was a full time pinch hitter/DH for interleague games.

2012 Hiroshima Athlete Magazine Starting Lineup #13

Maeda never led the league in any category that BBM does Leader subset cards for.  He did lead the Central League in doubles twice (1993, 1998) and total bases once (1993).  He also won the Comeback Award in 2002 (which gave him his sole Leader subset card in 2003).

2003 BBM 1st Version #403

He reached 2000 hits on September 1, 2007.

2010 BBM 20th Anniversary #248

He made the All Star team 7 times - 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

1996 BBM All Stars #A10

The Carp only made the Nippon Series once during his career in 1991 (and unfortunately won't be returning this year), losing to the Seibu Lions in seven games.

1991 BBM Nippon Series #S55

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