Thursday, August 5, 2021

RIP Yusuke Kinoshita

Stunning news today out of Nagoya - Chunichi Dragons pitcher Yusuke Kinoshita passed away earlier this week after collapsing during practice a month ago.  It's not clear what the cause of death was.  He had been doing "intense exercise" when he collapsed and initially was having heart issues that apparently affected his brain.  He had been on a ventilator when he died.  He was just 27 years old.  

Kinoshita had played college ball at Komazawa University but dropped out after suffering a shoulder injury.  He was recruited by Daiki Masuda to join the Tokushima Indigo Socks of the Shikoku Island League and played there for two seasons from 2015-16.  He was part of the League's All Star team that played in the Can-Am League in the summer of 2016.  The Dragons took him with their first (and only) pick in the ikusei portion of the 2016 draft and he spent all of 2017 on their development squad.  He was registered to the 70 man roster just before the 2018 season started and made his ichi-gun debut in April.  He played in 37 games for the Dragons between 2018 and 2020, all in relief.  He missed some time with an ankle injury last year and had a shoulder injury this season.  While getting his shoulder looked at he discovered that he also had an elbow issue that resulted in him getting Tommy John surgery in April, which required him to sit out for the season.

Kinoshita's rookie card was from the 2017 BBM Rookie Edition set (#114).  He never appeared in a flagship set from BBM, Calbee or Epoch but he appeared in the 2018-21 editions of BBM's Dragons team set and the 2018-19 Epoch Dragons Rookies & Stars sets.  Here are the cards I have of his - I don't have the 2021 BBM Dragons yet so I only have his 2018-20 cards along with the 2017 Rookie Edition card:

2017 BBM Rookie Edition #114

2018 BBM Dragons #D33

2019 BBM Dragons #D33

2020 BBM Dragons #D36

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