Shinya Miyamoto and his teammates have been busy with spring camp for the past two weeks, so we thought it might be nice to profile
some of the Tokyo players that are within shouting distance of significant milestones this season.
We’ve thought for quite some time that Miyamoto would begin regressing at any moment, but he’s been an absolute rock on the left side of the infield over the past 17 seasons. He won his first Golden Glove back in 1997, and he’s won eight more since.
But the milestone that he’s rapidly closing in on, and will likely reach by the middle/end of May, is one of the tallies that qualifies players for automatic induction into the Meikyukai, or Golden Players Club. That milestone is none other than the 2,000 hits mark that few have reached.
Miyamoto ended the 2011 season with a career tally of 1,975 hits leaving him just 25 hits shy. If he makes it, as we suspect he will, then he’ll join a small group of great Japanese baseball players. To give you an idea of the ranks of the elite club he’s on the verge of joining, the Meikyukai counts among it’s active members Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and another Tokyo great, Shingo Takatsu (250+ saves).