Saturday, January 17, 2015

Yoshinori Tateyama

I've gotten way behind in my posts on the players who retired at the end of last season so I'm going to try to catch up this weekend.  First up is Yoshinori Tateyama who I can cheat a little bit on as I did a post for him a few years ago when he went to the Rangers.

Tateyama was a second round pick of the Fighters in the fall 1998 draft.  They used him as a starter for his first couple seasons before moving him to the bullpen where he spent the rest of his career (with the exception of 2007 where he made seven starts in a season interrupted by injuries).  He was mostly used in middle relief (leading the league in "Middle Relief" in 2004) although it looks like he spent part of 2003 at least as the closer (he racked up 15 saves).

He made the All Star team once (in 2000) and played in three Nippon Series - 2006, 2007 and 2009.  He left the Fighters as a free agent following the 2010 season and signed with the Rangers.  He spent the next two and a half seasons playing for both the major league team and the Rangers' Triple-A team in Round Rock, Texas.  His contract was bought by the Yankees in the middle of the 2013 season and he spent the remainder of that year and the first month of 2014 playing for the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre team.  After the Yankees released him, he returned to Japan and signed with Hanshin.

His rookie card was #432 in the 1999 BBM set.  He did not have a Calbee card until the 2005 Title Holders subset (#T20) and he didn't have a regular Calbee card until 2006 (#038).

1999 BBM #432

2006 BBM 1st Version #151

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S35

2010 BBM 1st Version #225

2014 BBM SCM #282 (2nd Version #707)

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