Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tatsuyuki Uemoto

I decided to do a couple more retirement posts.  This one was requested by the guys over at Graveyard Baseball.  (I feel like a DJ..."Here's a long distance dedication to Christian and Wes...")

Longtime Lions back up catcher and farmhand Tatsuyuki Uemoto announced his retirement back in October (OK, technically his wife who's a model announced he was retiring on her blog).  Uemoto was a sixth round draft pick of the Lions from the Kyowa Hakko Kirin team of the corporate leagues in 2002.  He didn't debut with the ichi-gun team until 2005 and never got a lot of playing time with the top team - there were only three seasons where he got more than 100 at bats.  He made the Lions' roster for the last two games of the 2008 Nippon Series after Toru Hosokawa got hurt but he didn't appear in either game.  He'll be the Lions bullpen catcher next year.

As you might expect, Uemoto doesn't have a whole lot of baseball cards.  His BBM rookie cards were #54 in the 2003 Rookie Edition set and #217 in the 2003 1st Version set.  He only appeared in two other BBM flagship sets - the 2010 and 2011 1st Version sets.  He had one Calbee card - #272 from the 2010 set (which I don't have).  He also appeared in a handful of Konami and Bandai sets but the majority of his cards were in BBM's annual Lions team sets.

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #54

2003 BBM 1st Version #217

2017 BBM Lions #L41
He made an appearance in one of BBM's "Historic Collection" sets for a kind of odd reason.  The 2011 edition of BBM's annual historic sets was entitled "Hometown Heroes" and attempted to feature at least one player from each prefecture in Japan.  Uemoto was the only active player at the time from Yamaguchi prefecture in far western Honshu and so was included in the set:

2011 BBM Hometown Heroes #131
I only have 16 cards of Uemoto total but for some reason six of those cards are Lions team issued cards:

2006 Lions Original Player Card #49

2012 Lions Winning Game Card #18

2012 Lions Winning Game Card #25

2013 Lions Fan Club #49

2014 Lions Fan Club #49

2015 Lions Fan Club #49

No comments: