Monday, June 5, 2017

Masahiro Araki

Masahiro Araki of the Dragons got his 2000th career hit on Saturday.  Araki was the first round pick for Chunichi in the fall 1995 draft and has been with the Dragons his entire career.  He debuted with the team in 1997 and became a regular in 2001.

He's made the All Star team five times in his career (2005, 2008-09, 2011-12) and was named MVP of Game 2 in 2008.  He made the Best 9 team three times (2004-06), won six Golden Glove awards (2004-09) and led the Central League in stolen bases in 2007.  He played in five Nippon Series (2004, 2006-07, 2010-11) and won an "Outstanding Player" award in the 2007 Series (the only one the Dragons won).

His BBM rookie card is #484 from the 1996 set.  His first Calbee card wasn't until 2003 (#16).  He also had a card in the 1998 Takara Dragons set.

1996 BBM #484

1998 BBM #377

2002 BBM Preview #P43

2004 BBM Nippon Series #45

2005 BBM Dragons #D75

2007 BBM 1st Version #443

2008 BBM Japan National Team #JPN18

2010 Calbee #009

2012 BBM All Stars #A60

2015 Epoch Dragons X Mizuno #16

Araki is the first of probably at least five players who will reach 2000 hits this season.  Norichika Aoki will probably reach the milestone later this month (if not this week) while Seiichi Uchikawa and Shinnosuke Abe are around 40 hits away and Takashi Toritani is about 80 hits away.  Kazuya Fukuura of the Marines currently has 1945 hits but he's not likely to reach 2000 hits this season - he hasn't gotten more than 47 hits in a season since 2011.


SumoMenkoMan said...

Awesome! I had to go look up the list of who has 2000 or more and was surprised only a little less than 50 have done it. I guess I expected Oh or Nagashima to be at the very top, but they were not. I'd be curious to see what Ichiro would have had if he stayed in NPB his whole career. Cool to think about.

Fuji said...

Very cool. I hadn't heard of Mr. Araki... but that's quite the milestone.