Saturday, December 17, 2016

Masaru Takeda

Another player who retired at the end of the 2016 season was Fighters pitcher Masaru Takeda.  Takeda went undrafted out of college (Rissho University) in 2001 and played with SHiDAX of the industrial leagues for several seasons (including a couple when the team was managed by Katsuya Nomura).  He was taken in the fourth round of the 2005 draft by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and made his NPB debut on March 26, 2006 at the age of 27 against Nomura's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.  He spent most of his first season working out of the bullpen but he gradually moved into the starting rotation over the next few years.  His best seasons were probably 2010 and 2012 where he went 14-7 with a 2.41 ERA and 11-7 with a 2.36 ERA respectively.  He made the All Star team in 2011 and pitched in four Nippon Series with the Fighters - 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012.  His numbers started to deteriorate in 2013 - I'm not sure if there was an injury or if he just lost effectiveness.  He only made one appearance with the ichi-gun team in 2016 - his retirement game on September 30 where he started against the Marines and faced one batter, striking out Ikuhiro Kiyota.  The Fighters are sending him to coach with the Ishikawa Million Stars of the BC Challenge League next year - I don't know if there's some sort of working agreement between the two teams.

Takeda's rookie cards are #37 from the 2006 BBM Rookie Edition set, #174 from the 2006 BBM 1st Version set and #008 from the 2007 Calbee set.  In addition to his BBM and Calbee cards he also has cards in the Konami and Bandai "collectible" card game sets.

2006 BBM Rookie Edition #37

2006 BBM 1st Version #174

2007 Calbee #008

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S39

2011 BBM All Stars #A12

2011 Fighters Victory Card #068

2013 BBM Classic #038

2016 BBM Fighters #F20

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