Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tadahito Iguchi

Tadahito Iguchi of the Chiba Lotte Marines had announced his retirement back in June.  Iguchi had been the first pick of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in the fall 1996 draft out of Aoyamagakuin University.  He spent the next eight seasons with the Hawks before leaving as free agent following the 2004 season and spent the next four years in the US playing for the White Sox, Phillies and Padres.  He returned to Japan in 2009, signing with the Marines.

He led the Pacific League in steals in 2001 and 2003.  He was named to the Best 9 team and won Golden Gloves in 2001, 2003 & 2004.  He made nine All Star teams (2001-04 and 2009-13) and played in four Nippon Series (1999, 2000 and 2003 with the Hawks, 2010 with the Marines).  He won an "Outstanding Player" Award in the 2003 Series.  He also won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005 and got a ring with the 2008 Phillies although since he joined the team after September 1st that year he did not appear on the post-season roster.  He's one of only eleven players to win both a Nippon Series and a World Series championship and was the first Japanese player to do it.  He also suited up for the Japanese National team twice - playing in the 1996 Olympics as a amateur and the 2001 Baseball World Cup.  He is a member of the Meikyukai as he has over 2000 hits between MLB and NPB (I did a post commemorating him achieving this a few years back).

He went out with style, hitting a game tying two run home run in the bottom of the ninth of his retirement game on September 24th - a game the Marines would ultimately win in 12 innings.

The Marines created a web page for his retirement - scroll down past all the merchandise to find his career highlights.

It didn't take long for Iguchi to get a new job - the Marines named him as their new manager in mid-October

Iguchi's BBM rookie card is #477 from the 1997 set and his first Calbee card is #065 in the 1998 set.  He also had a card in the 1997 Takara Hawks set.

1997 BBM #477

2001 BBM Japan National Team #21

2002 BBM 2nd Version #GG13

2005 BBM 1st Version #BN4

2009 BBM 1st Version #127

2010 BBM Nippon Series #S18

2013 Calbee #AS-17

2017 BBM 1st Version #066

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