Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tomoya Satozaki

The Marines held a retirement ceremony for catcher Tomoya Satozaki before a packed house in Chiba today.

Satozaki was drafted in the second round by the Marines in the fall of 1998.  While he played well with the ni-gun team (he was MVP of the 2001 "Fresh All Star" game, the minor league All Star game), he didn't reach ichi-gun to stay until 2003.  He became the regular catcher for the Marines around 2006 and was named team captain in 2007.  Injuries and age started taking their toll on him (he was 30 when he became the regular catcher) and his playing time had diminished quite a bit in the past two seasons.

His BBM rookie card is #513 in the 1999 set (and he also appeared in the 1999 Future Bee Marines set that year).  His next appearance on a card wasn't until the 2002 BBM 2nd Version set.  His first Calbee card was #178 from the 2005 set.  Here's a bunch of his cards (I don't have either of the 1999 rookies or his first Calbee card):

2002 BBM 2nd Version #756

2007 Calbee #032

2011 Team26 (Marines Fan Club Issue)

2013 BBM Marines #M95

Satozaki won two Nippon Series during his time with the Marines - in 2005 and 2010.  Here's his card from the 2005 BBM Nippon Series set featuring a picture of him apparently after he homered into the fog during the Marines 10-1 Game One drubbing of the Tigers  that was ended after seven innings due to the fog:

2005 BBM Nippon Series #10
He made the All Star team seven times, every year between 2005 and 2012 except 2008.  He also made the Best 9 and Golden Glove teams for the PL in 2006 and 2007.  Here's his card from BBM's 2011 All Star set:

2011 BBM All Stars #A20
He was a member of the Japanese National Team twice - for the 2006 World Baseball Classic and the 2008 Olympics.  He played very well in the 2006 WBC, hitting .409 with one home run and making the WBC All Star team.  He appeared on four of Upper Deck's WBC cards that year.  Here's his card from their All World Team set:

2006 Upper Deck SPx All World Team #AWT-25

He appeared in the "Record Making Players" subset in the 2009 BBM 1st Version set, but I have been unable to determine just what the record he set was.

2009 BBM 1st Version #468

I was planning on watching the ceremony this morning but apparently win24TV had other ideas - they dropped the feed as soon as the game ended.  Luckily, PL-TV has a number of videos of today's retirement ceremony.  This is the main ceremony itself.   Here's his victory lap around the field.   This one shows the career highlight reel that played on the scoreboard.

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