Longtime Fighters backup infielder and farm hand Yuji Iiyama announced his retirement back in September. Iiyama was drafted out of his high school by the Fighters in the fourth round of the 1997 draft. He spent his most of his first seven seasons with the farm team - only making it into 11 ichi-gun games between 1998 and 2004 (and all of those were in 2001 and 2003). He was pretty much a late inning defensive replacement most of his career - he only appeared in more than 100 games once in his career (2007) and he only had 55 plate appearances that year. The most plate appearances he ever had in a single season was 194 in 2011. He did get to appear in four Nippon Series (2006,2007, 2009 and 2012) though. He will be remaining in the Fighters organization as a ni-gun infield and base coach.
His BBM rookie card was #470 in the 1998 set. He never had a Calbee card and until I looked at TradingCardDB.com's listing for him I wasn't aware that he'd ANY non-BBM cards - he had a couple Bandai and Konami cards. He only appeared in four BBM flagship sets (1998, 2007 1st Version, 2008 1st Version and 2011 2nd Version) over the course of his career - the same number of Nippon Series sets he appeared in.
|1998 BBM #470|
|2003 BBM Fighters #051|
|2006 BBM Nippon Series #S22|
|2007 BBM 1st Version #24|
|2011 BBM 2nd Version #430|
|2014 BBM WE LOVE HOKKAIDO #18|
|2017 BBM Fighters #F45|