Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Takehiro Donoue

Giants outfielder Takahiro Donoue retired back in October after the team told him he wasn't in their plans for 2018.  Donoue was originally the property of the Chunichi Dragons - he was their sixth round pick out of high school in the 2003 draft.  He made his ichi-gun debut in 2005.  He appears to have mostly had a pinch hitter/fourth outfielder role with the team.  His best season was probably 2012 when he got into 85 games and hit .282.  He played in three Nippon Series with the Dragons - 2007, 2010 & 2011 - I think all his appearances in the Series were as a pinch hitter.

He spent the 2006 offseason playing for the North Shore Honu of the Hawaiian Winter League along side future MLB players like Lorenzo Cain and Kenley Jansen.

The Dragons released him following the 2014 season and he attended the 12-team tryout that fall.  The Giants signed him to an ikusei contract but he was registered to the 70-man roster during spring camp in 2015.  He got into 102 games with the ichi-gun Giants in 2015 and 2016 but spent all of 2017 with the farm team.

Donoue comes from a baseball playing family.  His father Terashi pitched for the Dragons from 1971 to 1986 and his younger brother Naomichi was his teammate with Chunichi after 2007 (and is still playing in Nagoya).

Donoue's first BBM cards are #49 from the 2004 Rookie Edition set (which I don't have) and #246 from the 2004 1st Version set.  He only had four "flagship" cards ever - in the 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2012 1st Version sets.  He never had a Calbee card but he did have a couple cards in some of the Bandai and Konami collectible card game sets.  (H/T TradingCardDB.com.)

2004 BBM 1st Version #246

2007 BBM The Climax - Dragons #D27

2011 BBM Dragons 75th Anniversary #99

2011 BBM Nippon Series #S57

2014 BBM Dragons #D68

2015 BBM Giants #G70

2017 BBM Giants #G66

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