Sunday, August 6, 2017

Card Of The Week August 6

Hitoki Iwase of the Dragons got into his 950th game today which now gives him the record for most pitching appearances in NPB history, passing Hall Of Famer Tetsuya Yoneda.  He got the save in the game against the Giants which extends his record for most career saves in NPB to 404.

Iwase was Chunichi's' second round pick in the fall 1998 draft (Kosuke Fukudome was the 1st round pick).  He had an outstanding rookie season in 1999 working middle relief for the CL pennant winning Dragons, going 10-2 with an ERA 1.57 in 65 games.  In another season that might have won him the Rookie Of The Year award however 1999 was also Koji Uehara of the Giants' rookie season and he went 20-4 and led the CL in strikeouts with 179.  Uehara won the award and I suspect Iwase finished a distant second although I haven't found the vote tally anywhere on-line.

Iwase did win the "Middle Relief" award in 1999 with a total of 28.15 points.  I don't know how this total is calculated but I think it has something to do with number of appearances, number of hold points and number of saves.  Here's his card commemorating this achievement from the "Leaders" subset of the 2000 BBM set (#26):

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