Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RIP Don Zimmer

Don Zimmer passed away today at age 83.  One little known fact of Zim's playing career is that he spent the 1966 season with the Toei Flyers, hitting .183 with 9 home runs in 87 games.  He hung up his spikes after that season, starting his managerial career in 1967 in the Reds minor league system.

As Zimmer's single season in Japan falls into the "dead zone" between the end of menko (1964) and the beginning of Calbee (1973), there are no known contemporary Japanese baseball cards of him.  There also have not been any OB cards of him since then either.  I've been hoping that BBM will do a third foreign player set and include guys like him and Rich Gossage who have never had a Japanese card but so far it hasn't happened.  In the meantime, we'll have to settle for this image:

I swiped this from Wayne Graczyk's 1989 Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide.  Graczyk puts this out every year.  The 1989 edition is the only one I have.  It contains a list of all foreigners to play in Japan post-1950 along with pictures of most of them.

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