Sunday, August 22, 2021

Kris Johnson

Former Hiroshima Toyo Carp pitcher Kris Johnson announced his retirement last week.  Johnson had joined the Carp in 2015 after sending nine years in the Red Sox, Pirates and Twins organizations.  He went 14-7 in his first season and his 1.85 ERA led the Central League.  He went 15-7 in 2016, helping the Carp win their first Central League pennant in 25 years and became the first foreign pitcher to win the Sawamura Award since Gene Bacque in 1964.  He missed a lot of the 2017 season with injuries but bounced back with an 11-5 record in 2018 and an 11-8 in 2019 (I saw one of those 11 victories against the Tigers in Hiroshima on June 1st).  He and the Carp parted ways after a poor season in 2020.  In six seasons in Hiroshima he went 57-37 with an ERA of 2.76.

Here's a couple cards from each year he was in Japan:

2015 BBM Classic #052

2015 Epoch Red Helmet 40th Anniversary #10

2016 BBM Fusion #033

2016 BBM Carp "Realization Of A Great Ambition" #10

2017 Calbee "Title Holder" #T-23

2017 BBM Carp "Successful Achievement" #14

2018 BBM 1st Version #172

2018 Epoch NPB #227

2019 Epoch NPB #227

2019 Calbee #184

2020 BBM Carp History 1950-2020 #82

2020 Epoch Carp Rookies & Stars #08

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