Wednesday, December 9, 2009
#524) TAKASHI KASHIWADA
Takashi Kashiwada joined the New York Mets when he was traded from the Yomiuri Giants on April 3, 1997. Kashiwada had a very unique situation that made him a pioneer of sorts. The left-hander was not a star in Japan. In fact, he was a journeyman prospect who pitched more games in the minor leagues than the majors in Japan during the previous three years. Mets manager, Bobby Valentine commented that Kashiwada's success would be an eye-opener for fans in Japan, "The players and fans put the major leagues in America on a very high pedestal, and for someone who is an average player over there to come over here and do well — there is folklore potential in that.'' Takashi Kashiwada became the first player from Japan to appear in a game as a Met when he made his major league debut on May 1, 1997 at Shea Stadium. He would pitch in 35 games from the bullpen with a 3-1 record and a 4.31 ERA. After his lone season in American baseball Kashiwada was released by the Mets on October 10, 1997.
After his playing career Takashi became an international scout for the Yomiuri Giants. His region is the United States.
Takashi Kashiwada signed his card in the set (adding a signature in both English and Japanese) during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 8, 2009.