Monday, October 26, 2015

Yoshitomo Tani

Back to the retirees...

Yoshitomo Tani is yet another player who announced his retirement this season.  Tani was drafted by the then Orix Blue Wave in the second round of the fall 1996 draft.  He debuted with the ichi-gun Blue Wave the following May.  After 10 seasons with Orix, he was traded to the Yomiuri Giants for Masahiro Nagata and Takashi Kamoshida.  He spent seven seasons with the Giants (2007-13).  The Giants released him following the 2013 season and he returned to Orix for the last two years.

Tani's best seasons all came when he played with Orix.  He was named to the post-season Best 9 team five times (1999, 2001-04) and won the Golden Glove award four times (2001-04).  He made the All Star time six times (2001-04, 2006-07) - the last time was the only time he made it as a Giant.  He lead the PL in steals in 2002 and hits in 2003 - his 189 hits that year are a PL record for a right handed batter.  He also set an NPB record with 52 doubles in 2001.

He played in three Nippon Series (2008-09 and 2012) - all with the Giants.  (He was with the Giants in 2013 but did not appear in the Series.)  He played for the Japanese National Team in the 1996 Olympics as an amateur and in the 2004 Olympics as a professional.  (He also married Ryoko Tamura, an Olympic judoka - while they both won silver in Atlanta, she took home gold in Athens while Tani and the baseball team did not medal.)  He also played for the National Team in the 2003 Asian Games, a qualifier for the 2004 Olympics.

His BBM rookie card is from the 1997 set (#446).  His first Calbee card is #152 from the 1998 set.

1997 BBM #446

2001 Upper Deck Victory #057

2003 Calbee #B-14

2003 BBM Japan National Team #23

2004 BBM 1st Version #386

2006 BBM Buffaloes #Bs58

2007 BBM All Stars #A65

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S24

2011 BBM 1sr Version #237

2014 Bandai Owners League #055

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