Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ryosuke Morioka

Swallows infielder Ryosuke Morioka is another player who announced his retirement back in September.  Morioka was originally drafted out of high school by the Chunichi Dragons in the first round of the fall 2002 draft.  I believe that he was originally expected to be the eventual successor to Kazuyoshi Tatsunami.  It didn't quite work out that way, however, as he spent most of his six seasons with the Dragons with their farm team, only making it to their top team for about 40 games altogether before they released him following the 2008 season.  The Swallows picked him up following the 12 team tryout in December of 2008.  After a couple seasons still spent mostly with the farm team, he became a versatile utility infielder for the Swallows top team starting in 2012.  He was also their "regular" shortstop in 2014 - or at least the player who played the most games at that position that year.  He fell into a major slump the past two seasons and has spent most of his time back with the ni-gun team.  He will be a coach for the Swallows next season.

As you might expect from the above description of his career, Morioka never made an All Star team, won a major award or lead the league in anything, although I think he won the Eastern League batting title in 2010.  Despite the fact that the Dragons made three Nippon Series while he was with them, he never played in any of them nor did he appear in the 2015 Nippon Series with the Swallows.

His first BBM cards were #18 from the 2003 Rookie Edition set and #87 from the 2003 1st Version set.  He didn't have a regular Calbee card until 2013 (#173) (although he had a "Hot Prospect" subset card in the 2009 set) but he appeared in several Konami and Bandai sets as well as the 2015 Epoch Swallows CL Champions set.

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #18

2003 BBM 1st Version #87

2006 BBM CL Champion Dragons #29

2007 Konami Baseball Heroes 3 White Edition #B07W102

2010 BBM 2nd Version #738

2012 Bandai Owners League 01 #115

2015 Epoch CL Champion Swallows #19

2016 BBM Swallows #S49

No comments: