Sunday, June 7, 2015

Card Of The Week June 7

The big news last week was that Horishi Moriwaki stepped down as manager of the Orix Buffaloes.  Orix has been one of the biggest disappointments this season, sitting in last place in the PL with a 19-34-1 record after being being pretty much unanimously expected to finish in the top half of the standings.  Moriwaki is being replaced by head coach Junichi Fukura on an interim basis - there's already a rumor out that So Taguchi could be offered the full time job.

Like most current NPB managers (9 of 12 by my count), Fukura is a former player for the team he's managing.  He was drafted by the Hankyu Braves in the sixth round of the fall 1984 draft and debuted with the team the following season.  His best season was 1988 (Hankyu's last season as owners of the franchise) when he hit .320 and made the All Star team for the only time as well as the Best 9 team (which he also did in 1994).  He remained with the team after their sale to Orix for the 1989 season and their move to Kobe for the 1991 season, retiring at the end of the 1997 season.  He coached for Orix for a couple seasons after retiring and later coached for the Fighters before returning to Orix when Moriwaki took over as manager in 2013.  Here's his 1988 Takara Braves card:

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