Monday, December 28, 2015

Tony Barnette of the Texas Rangers

Thought I'd do a "New Import" post for Tony Barnette even though he's returning to North America, not going there for the first time.  I figured that since he hadn't played in the majors prior to going to Japan, he's kind of an unknown quantity for North American collectors and it might be useful to list what cards he had in Japan.

Barnette signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows before the 2010 season.  Prior to that he had pitched for four years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.  The Swallows used him primarily as a starter in his first season with limited success - he went 4-5 with a 5.99 ERA.  He moved into the bullpen in 2011 and saw his ERA drop to 2.68.  He became the Swallows closer in 2012, notching 33 saves with a 1.82 ERA.  He made the All Star team that season and led the Central League in saves.  Injuries took their toll in 2013 and 2014 but he was back to "lights out" as the Swallows closer in 2015, again leading the Central League in saves (with 41) and posting a 1.29 ERA.  The Swallows attempted to post him following the season but after no one bid, they allowed him to leave as a free agent.  He signed a two year deal with the Rangers in mid-December.

His first Japanese card was in the 2010 BBM 1st Version set (#085).  He's had kind of sporadic appearances in BBM's flagship sets - 2010 and 2013 1st Version and 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 2nd Version sets (all of which were the 1st Version Update subset except for 2010).  He's been in each BBM Swallows set between 2010 and 2015 and he was in the 2012 BBM All Stars set.  He also appeared in BBM's high end "Genesis" set in 2015.  He's had three Calbee cards - 2012, 2013 (Title Holders subset) and 2015 (Exciting Scene).  He also appeared in a number of the Bandai and Konami card game sets.

Here's a handful of his cards:

2010 BBM 1st Version #085

2011 BBM 2nd Version #447

2012 Calbee #191

2013 BBM 1st Version #350

2015 BBM Swallows #S17

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