Friday, December 9, 2022

RIP Shigeru Fujio

Former Yomiuri Giants catcher Shigeru Fujio has passed away.  The team announced Fujio's passing today but it actually happened two months ago on October 8th, Fujio's 88th birthday.  

Fujio spent 13 years with the Giants, signing with them out of high school in time for the 1953 season.  He was a backup to Jun Hirota for a couple years before becoming the starting catcher in 1956.  Over the next four seasons he made the All Star team and won the Best 9 award each year.  By the early 60's a batting slump and injuries caused him to lose his starting role to Masahiko (Masaaki) Mori.  He retired following the 1965 season in which he didn't make any appearances with the ichi-gun team.  

Fujio has an interesting group of baseball cards.  He had a number of cards that were issued of him during his playing career - Engel's latest Vintage Guide lists some 58 cards.  Here's a handful (including one that's not in Engel):

1957 JBR 17

1957 Maruya JCM 65 (Fujio is the middle player)

~1957 Uncatalogued Menko (Fujio is in the upper right)

1958 Hinomaru Giants 

1961 Marukami JCM 14d

Despite having all those vintage cards, he had almost no modern cards.  As far as I can tell, he only has five cards since he retired - four cards in the 2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 set and one in the 2004 BBM Giants 70th Anniversary:

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #027

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #147

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #267

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #387

2004 BBM Giants 70th Anniversary #019

1 comment:

Kirk said...

He had some really cool cards