Thursday, March 25, 2010

2009 Topps Heritage Kenshin Kawakami

Who is this? Kenshin Kawakami, a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves

What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 Topps Heritage High Number Series

Where'd I get it? I wrote to Kawakami at the Braves' spring training camp and asked him to sign it. I got it back on Tuesday

How much did it cost? The card was about fifty cents, plus postage

Why is this so special? Kawakami had a decent, if not spectacular season for the Atlanta Braves last year. He started 25 games and appeared in seven more out of the bullpen. He finished the season with a 7-12 record and a 3.86 ERA. He also earned one save, by pitching four scoreless innings against the Mets in an 11-3 victory on Sept. 21. I was at that game.

In Japan, Kawakami was a star for the Chunichi Dragons. He was the Central League Rookie of the Year in 1998, when he went 15-6 with a 2.57 ERA.

In 2004, he had the best season of his career - 17-7 with a 3.32 ERA. He helped the Dragons to win a Central League title, was named the league MVP and took home the  Eiji Sawamura Award given to the best pitcher in Japan. He also threw a no-hitter.

In 2006, Kawakami again won 17 and helped the Dragons to another Central League title.

Kawakami signed a quick version of his English signature in ballpoint. Fortunately, he was able to find a fairly light spot to sign the card so the signature is pretty visible.


zman40 said...

That looks pretty good for ballpoint.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Nice autograph, at least it's a bit longer than Uehara's Koji 19.

Paul said...

It's a very nice signed card... I'm just glad I didn't send in the 2010 Upper Deck card I was considering -- if he signed it the same way, you'd probably never see the autograph.