Thursday, December 1, 2016

Shinobu Fukuhara

Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shinobu Fukuhara announced his retirement back in September.  Fukuhara was the third round pick of the Tigers out of Toyo University in the fall 1998 draft.  He worked out of the bullpen his first season and bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen for a couple seasons before becoming a regular starter for the Tigers from 2004 to 2009 (although he missed much of 2008 with an injury).  He moved back into the bullpen in 2010 and remained there the rest of his career.  His best season as a starter was 2006 when he went 12-5 with a 2.09 ERA.  He was outstanding in middle relief in 2014 and 2015, leading the Central League in "Hold Points" both seasons.  He made an All Star team once (in 2004) and played in three Nippon Series (2003, 2005 and 2014), all in losing efforts.  He will be a coach with the Tigers farm team next season.

His rookie card (which I don't have) is #394 from the 1999 BBM set.  His first Calbee card is #068 from the 2000 set.  He also appears in a number of Konami, Bandai, Upper Deck, Epoch and Future Bee "Power League" sets.

2000 BBM #259

2001 Upper Deck "Rookie Roundup" #RR6

2004 BBM All Stars #A15

2005 BBM Nippon Series #32

2007 BBM Tigers #T036 (Gold Parallel)

2010 BBM 1st Version #117

2014 Tigers "Original Player Card" #06

2016 BBM Classic #051

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