What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 BBM Second Version Japanese baseball card set
Where'd I get it? I've been buying up Ryota Igarashi's cards on eBay since the Mets signed him. I mailed a couple doubles to the Mets' spring training camp to see if Igarashi would sign them, and I got them back yesterday.
How much did it cost? I'd guess around $2 for the card and postage.
Why is this so special? Ryota Igarashi had a solid career in Japan, pitching for the Yakult Swallows for ten seasons. He won 45 games while losing 26 and saving 54 in 466 appearances.
Igarashi decided that he wanted to see how he could do in the majors and he signed a two-year contract with the Mets this off-season. Thanks to some stories on Yakyu Baka, an English-language Japanese baseball blog, I became a fan before I ever got to see Igarashi pitch. (YouTube video clips don't really count.)
I really hope that he is able to adjust to pitching in Major League Baseball... I think Igarashi will be a lot of fun to watch if he's successful.
I'm not sure if Igarashi has come up with an American version of his autograph yet, but I'm happy I got the Japanese version. I may not be able to read it, but I'm sure that someone could. That's a big improvement from the illegible signatures of many current players.
I'm only putting autograph-related links in this blogroll. However, if you have a blog or a collector site not specifically about autographs, but with an autograph page or an "autograph" label on your blog posts, I'll put that link here.