I mentioned the other day that Shohei Ohtani was a near unanimous winner of the Pacific League MVP award this year. He was listed as the top choice on 253 of the 254 total valid ballots submitted. The question that has probably now jumped into your head is - who got the other 1st place vote? Was it one of the sluggers from the Fighters like Brandon Laird or Sho Nakata? Or someone from one of the other playoff teams - maybe Katsuya Kakunaka or Tsuyoshi Wada?
Nope, it was Fighters middle reliever Naoki Miyanishi, who led the Pacific League in holds (39) and "hold points" (42) this season. I'm somewhat puzzled as to how someone could come to the conclusion that Miyanishi was more valuable than Ohtani, Laird, Nakata, Anthony Bass, Chris Martin or Hirotoshi Masui although to be fair Miyanishi did get 8 second place votes and 12 third place votes to finish sixth overall in the MVP voting (a position he would have finished in even if he hadn't gotten the first place vote, assuming that that vote did not go to the seventh place finisher Ayumu Ishikawa of the Marines). And it's not like the MVP voters have not given the award to a middle reliever before. But still, given the amazing year that Ohtani had it is very odd that someone voted for Miyanishi. Whoever it was did at least put Ohtani second on their ballot.
Here's a card of Miyanishi from the 2014 BBM WE LOVE HOKKAIDO set (#06). (I've gotten into a bit of rut the last few months - half of the last 14 Card Of The Week posts have featured Fighters. I need to change that.)