Saturday, December 8, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps #508 Kenji Johjima

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, December 8, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps #508.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kenji Johjima, catcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 3, 2006.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Mariners): 112 G, 379 AB, 29 R, 86 H, 19 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 2 SB, 19 BB, 33 SO, .332 SLG, .609 OPS, .227 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent, 11/21/2005. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his fourth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "There have been 380 games caught by Japanese-born players in the Major Leagues - three by Keith McDonald and 377 by Kenji. Johjima has moved up the list of all Japanese players in the Majors to fourth in home runs, fifth in RBI and seventh in hits and games played. (Hideki Matsui leads the first two categories; Ichiro the other two.)"
  • Commentary:When Topps showed the first images of their 2009 Topps product, I was ecstatic. I loved the design (and if you've readmany of the 2009 Topps posts on the RotC, you know how much I love it). From the much larger picture on the front of the cards (take a look at that shot of Johjima hanging on to the ball to try and get Casey Kotchman out at ome), to the scrapbook elements used, it was an upgrade over the "circus circles" from the year before. Do you remember the buzz that started in Seattle when they signed one of thebest hitting catchers form Japan to a MLB contract? Johjima was a hitting machine for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (later named the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), hitting .299 with 211 home runs and 700 rbi's in 11 seasons. And he did rather well in a Mariners jersey too. He broke the catcher rookie record in hits with 147, of which 18 were of the long ball variety. He was also fearless in the batter's box, getting hit 11 times in his rookie season. In three solid seasons with the M's, he hit .272 with 39 home runs and 176 rbi's and was as good as a defensive catcher as you could get. However, as his hitting slipped in 2009, he lost his starting job to two other catchers. Although he did sign an contract extension the year before, he thought it best to head back to Japan after the 2009 season. So he opted out of his contract and signed on with the Hanshin Tigers where after an extremely productive 2010, he has seen limited action for the Tigers the last two seasons.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 47.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1971 Topps #211. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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