Sunday, February 5, 2017

Card Of The Week February 5

Hiromitsu Ochiai's tenure as Dragons GM ended on Tuesday as the three year contract he signed after the 2013 season expired.  Ochiai had been the most successful manager in Dragons history between 2004 and 2011 - he lead the team to the Nippon Series five times in eight years and won the Series in 2007, the first championship for the Dragons since 1954.  His managerial contract was not renewed after 2011 and after two disappointing seasons the Dragons brought him back to be GM.  The disappointing seasons for Chunichi continued, including a last place finish this past season and the organization decided to make a change.

Ochiai has not appeared on a baseball card since he was let go back in 2011, even though there have been several sets that you would have expected him to be in (Dragons Legend, Dragons 80th Anniversary, BBM 25th Anniversary for example).  Here's what I'm pretty sure was his last card - it's from the 2011 BBM Nippon Series set (#S27):


Sean said...

I moved to Nagoya in 2012, exactly coinciding with the first post-Ochiai season for the Dragons. And the past five years I have watched lousy teams play in a lousy stadium and lose game after game. I wish they had kept him on.

I sure do miss living in Fukuoka and being a Hawks fan with Akiyama as manager - that was way more fun.

Zippy Zappy said...

One of my favorite aspects of Ochiai is how so many seem to dislike him, so much so that my dad once gave me a book called "Why do people dislike Ochiai?" lol. I know a lot of folks who're excited for the post-Ochiai era because they viewed him as the reason the team was so lousy for so long. That said, if what I've heard about the other people in high places in the org (as well as the new incoming manager) are true then the team's run as basement dwellers will likely continue for a while.

NPB Card Guy said...

I really liked Ochiai if for no other reason than he got results as manager. I have no real hope right now that they'll contend any time soon.