In 2013, Japanese card manufacturer BBM came out with a set called “All-Star Game Memories 80’s”. Earlier this year I was on COMC, searching on “BBM” sorted by lowest price, and while the majority of players meant nothing to me, two cards caught my eye enough that I bought them…
…and just to be clear on this, I’m learning about these guys as I write about them, so I apologize if I get anything wrong; I’m not dealing from a position of strength here…
First up is Takashi Nishimoto and his high leg kick.
Baseball Reference says that Nishimoto was an eight-time All-Star and won the 1981 Sawamura award (for the top pitcher in NPB). He pitched for the Yomiuri Giants, Chunichi Dragons and Orix Blue Wave. What I found most interesting is that despite that leg kick, he won seven straight Diamond Glove awards for his fielding.
Going from way up high to way down low, next up is Hirohisa Matsunuma.
Matsunuma made five all-star teams and was the 1979 Pacific League Rookie Of The Year.
Sheer coincidence: Both of these pitchers had brothers who also pitched in NPB and both originally signed as an undrafted free-agent.