Monday, January 19, 2015

Takeshi Hidaka

The last player that retired at the end of last season that I want to do a post on is Takeshi Hidaka of the Tigers.  Hidaka was drafted out of high school in the third round of the fall 1995 draft by the Orix Blue Wave.  He didn't debut with the ichi-gun Blue Wave until 1998.  An interesting confluence of events occurred to thrust him into the starting catcher role at age 20 - after veteran backup catcher Satoshi Nakajima had left the team for Seibu as a free agent after the 1997 season, Orix's number one catcher, Takashi Miwa, was suspended for seven weeks at the beginning of the 1998 season for his involvement in a tax evasion scandal.  Hidaka would pretty much remain the number one catcher for Orix until the 2010 season.  Orix released him following the 2012 season and he played for Hanshin the last two seasons.

Hidaka made five All Star teams - 2000-2002, 2006 and 2008.  He never played in a Nippon Series despite the fact that Orix made the Series in his first professional year (1996) and Hanshin made it in his last professional year (2014).

His BBM rookie card was #498 in the 1996 set.  His first Calbee card was not until 2008(!) - #285.  He last appeared in a BBM flagship set in 2013.

Here's a sampling of his cards:

1996 BBM #498

2000 BBM All Stars #A59

2002 Konami Prime Nine #151 (Foil)

2006 BBM Buffaloes #Bs34

2009 BBM Orix 20th Anniversary #40

2013 BBM The Trade Stories #74

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