Saturday, November 17, 2018

Shuichi Murata

Another player who retired at the end of the 2018 season was Shuichi Murata.  Murata was taken by the Yokohama Baystars in the "free acquisition" portion of the 2002 draft out of Nihon University where he had set a Tohto University Baseball League record with 8 home runs during the fall 2001 season.  He was a starter for the Baystars almost immediately after signing and hit 25 home runs in his first season.  He led the Central League in home runs in 2007-08.  He moved to the Giants as a free agent after the 2011 season.  The Giants released him following the 2017 season and he spent 2018 with the Tochigi Golden Braves of the independent Baseball Challenge League.  He had a good season with Tochigi and was hoping to play his way back into NPB but when the July 31st player acquisition deadline came without anyone signing him he decided to call it quits as of the end of the season.

Murata was a five time All Star (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014) and made the Central League Best 9 team four times (2008, 2012, 2013 and 2016).  He also won three Golden Gloves (2013, 2014 and 2016).  He played in two Nippon Series with the Giants, beating the Fighters in 2012 but losing to the Eagles in 2013.  He suited up for the Japanese National Team for the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

His first BBM cards were #40 from the 2003 Rookie Edition set and #177 from the 2003 1st Version set.  His first Calbee card wasn't until #165 in the 2004 set. 

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #40

2003 BBM 1st Version #177

2005 BBM Baystars #YB97

2008 BBM 1st Version #439

2009 Konami WBC Heroes "Special" #W09S002

2011 BBM All Stars #A59

2011 BBM Tohto 80th Memorial #68 

2012 BBM Nippon Series #S22

2014 Front Runner Giants Stars & Legends #9

2016 Calbee #191

2017 BBM Fusion "Great Record" #GR16

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