Monday, March 18, 2019


Speaking of Tsuyoshi Nishioka...

Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times mentioned something interesting on this week's episode of the Japan Baseball Weekly podcast.  Podcast host John E. Gibson had interviewed former Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine for the episode and when John and Jason were discussing some of the players from Valentine's Nippon Series Championship team of 2005, Jason mentioned something I had never heard before - after the 2005 season Marines infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka was selected to the Best 9 team and won a Golden Glove award.  This in itself is not unusual but Nishioka did it at two different positions - he was elected as the shortstop for the Best 9 team but was awarded the Golden Glove award for being a second baseman!

Nishioka split time between the two positions that season, getting into 91 games at second and 63 games at shortstop.  Now since the Marines only played 136 games that year (and Nishioka only appeared in 122) he obviously played both positions in the same game a number of times.  The Marines infield cleaned up on the Best 9 and Golden Glove awards that year as Kazuya Fukuura, Toshiaki Imae and Makoto Kosaka all won Golden Gloves (at first, third and shortstop respectively) while Koichi Hori and Imae made the Best 9 team (at second and third - Julio Zuleta of the Hawks beat out Fukuura at first).

This oddity was immortalized in the 2006 BBM 1st Version set.  BBM included insert cards that year for all the previous year's Best 9 and Golden Glove award winners.  I don't have all the cards from these sets but I do have both of Nishioka's cards:

2006 BBM 1st Version #BN6

2006 BBM 1st Version #GG4

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