Tomohiro Nioka was taken in the second round of the 1999 draft (held in the fall of 1998) by the Giants (their first round pick that year was Koji Uehara). He was immediately installed as starting shortstop in 1999 and would remain there until giving way to Hayato Sakamoto in 2008.
Nioka's rookie cards were #330 in the 1999 BBM set and #087 in the 1999 Calbee set.
|1999 BBM #330|
|1999 Calbee #087|
Nioka remained with the Giants until the end of 2008. He had a number of productive years but was only able to win one Best 9 award (it was difficult to dislodge either Takuo Ishii or Hirokazu Ibata from that award).
|2000 BBM Yomiuri Shimbun Giants "Victory Road" #08|
|2004 BBM 1st Version Best 9 insert #BN16|
After a 2008 season that saw him have drastically reduced playing time due to Hayato Sakamoto and Michihiro Ogasawara having much better seasons, an ankle injury and a scandal in his personal life (he was caught cheating on his wife), the Giants traded him to the Fighters in a deal that brought Michael Nakamura to the Giants. He rebounded somewhat his first two years with Nippon Ham only played a little over a full season's worth of games at the ichi-gun level his last three years.
|2009 BBM Rookie Edition #123|
|2013 BBM 1st Version #179|
|2006 BBM All Stars #A58|
|2012 BBM Nippon Series #S56|
|2003 BBM Japan National Team #19|