Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eiichi Koyano

Another player who retired at the end of the season was former Fighters and Buffaloes infielder Eiichi Koyano.  Koyano was a fifth round pick of the Fighters out of Soka University in the fall 2002 draft.  He made his debut with the ichi-gun team in the 2003 season but he didn't become a regular for the team until 2007 - part of the delay was due to panic attacks he suffered during the 2006 season.  His best season was 2010 when he hit .311 with 16 home runs and a Pacific League leading 109 RBIs.  He made the All Star team for the only time that season and was also named to the Best 9 team.  He spent about seven years as the Fighters' regular third (and sometimes first) baseman (2007-13) but was slowed by injuries in 2014 and missed roughly half of the season.  He left Hokkaido as a free agent after 2014 and signed with the Orix Buffaloes.  He missed much of his first two seasons in Osaka with injuries but bounced back to play a full season in 2017.  He ended up hurt much of 2018 however and decided to retire.

Koyano won Golden Glove awards three times (2009-10 & 2012) and played on the losing side in three Nippon Series (2007, 2009 and 2012), winning an "Outstanding Player" award in the 2009 Series.

His first BBM cards were #80 from the 2003 Rookie Edition set and #338 from the 2003 1st Version set.  His first Calbee card wasn't until 2007 - #224.  He had at least two Konami cards before his first Calbee card.

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #80

2003 BBM 1st Version #338

2005 Konami Baseball Heroes Old White Edition #B05W120

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S64

2010 BBM All Stars #A55

2011 BBM 1st Version #363

2011 Fighters Victory Card #041

2013 BBM 1st Version #393

2015 BBM 1st Version #042

2018 Calbee #022

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