Kenta Kurihara announced his retirement a few months back. Kurihara was taken by the Carp in the third round of the fall 1999 draft. He didn't make his debut with the ichi-gun team until late 2002 and didn't really become a regular with them until 2005 or so. He was a mainstay of the Carp lineup until he got hurt in 2012. He had right elbow surgery that season but he never really recovered from it and did not make it off the farm team his last two seasons with the Carp (2014-15). He asked for his release from the Carp after the 2015 season and signed with the Eagles, which was kind of a homecoming for him (the Eagles play in Miyagi which is the prefecture just east of Kurihara's home prefecture of Yamagata. He spent the entire 2016 season with the Eagles farm team which actually plays in Yamagata so it was even more of a homecoming for him. He'll be a coach with the Eagles' farm team starting in 2017.
Kurihara made the All Star team three times (2007, 2009, 2011) and won a Best 9 award in 2011. He won Golden Gloves in 2008, 2009 and 2011. He played for Team Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
His BBM rookie card is #487 from the 2000 set. His first Calbee card is from the "Jump Up To The Star" subset in the 2003 set (#J-05) and his first "regular" Calbee card is #222 from the 2004 set. He also had cards in various Konami, Bandai and Front Runner sets.
|2000 BBM #487|
|2003 Calbee #J-05|
|2004 BBM 2nd Version #828|
|2007 BBM All Stars #A53|
|2009 Konami WBC Heroes #W09R101|
|2011 Calbee #S-21|
|2013 Front Runner Carp Season Summary #04|
|2016 BBM Eagles #E70|