Monday, November 27, 2017

Yuya Andoh

Longtime Hanshin Tigers pitcher Yuya Andoh announced his retirement back in the middle of September.  Andoh attended Hosei University of the Tokyo Big Six League and then joined Toyota's industrial league team after he graduated.  He was a member of the Japan National Team for the 2001 Baseball World Cup and was drafted by the Tigers (in the "free player acquisition" round) the day after the tournament ended.  He debuted with the Tigers in April of 2002 and worked out of the bullpen his first few years with the team.  He moved to the starting rotation in 2005 and remained there for most of the next eight years although he missed significant time in 2007 and 2011 with injuries.  He moved back into the bullpen in 2013 and got into at least 50 games a year for the next four seasons in a middle relief role.  He spent almost all of 2017 with the Tigers' farm team however - I'm not completely sure why but I think it had more to do with the Tigers preferring to use younger pitchers at the ichi-gun level than Andoh's performance. 

He played in three Nippon Series with the Tigers - 2003, 2005 and 2014.  He suited up for the Japan National Team three times as well - the aforementioned 2001 Baseball World Cup, the 2003 Asia Championship and the 2004 Olympics.

Because he was still an amateur when he played in the 2001 Baseball World Cup he's one of the few Japanese players to have a "pre-rookie" card as he appeared in the 2002 BBM set for the Japanese team in that tournament.  His first NPB cards are a draft pick card in the 2002 BBM Preview set (#P60) and a card in the 2002 BBM 1st Version set (#173).  His first Calbee card was #039 in the 2004 set.

02 BBM Japan National Team #8

2002 BBM Preview #P60

2002 BBM 1st Version #173 (Silver Facsimile Autograph Parallel)

2005 BBM Nippon Series #28

2007 BBM Tigers #T027

2009 BBM 1st Version #515

2010 BBM 2nd Version #769

2013 Calbee #184

2015 Tigers "Original Player Card" #02

2017 BBM Tigers #T06

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