Monday Bullets #20 (Looking Ahead Edition)

Monday Bullets is a feature in which Tsubamegun writers (mostly Kozo) gather random news, thoughts, images, movies, etc. during the week and publish them for off day consumption.

True to the original concept of this feature this week’s bullets are truly a random assortment of news.

  • As Dave noted in his game write up on Tuesday, former Swallow Atsunori Inaba announced his plans to retire after the season. Inaba lasted one more season than his fellow 1994 draftee Shinya Miyamoto. If I am not mistaken, Inaba was the last active member from the Swallows’ 1997 championship team. There are only four active players left that have experienced championship bliss as a member of the Swallows, Akinori Iwamura (still with the team), Shugo Fujii (BayStars), Ryota Igarashi (Hawks), and Alex Ramirez (with the Gunma Diamond Pegasus in the BC League). All of the remaining players were part of the 2001 Championship team under Tsutomu Wakamatsu.
  • Yamada’s quest for 200 hits continues, as he now has 167 hits with 23 games left to go. Earlier this week Yamada surpassed Furuta’s club record for hits by a Japanese right hander which stood at 164 hits. The club and NPB record for hits by a right hander is held by Alex Ramirez who hit 204 hits in his last season as a Swallow. If Yamada reaches 200 hits he will become the first Japanese right hander to reach the milestone. Yamada will need to pick up the pace if he wants a shot for 200 hits and 30 homers. Yamada was actually held without an extra base hit for nearly three weeks until he exploded for two doubles and a homer last night.
  • Coco returned to the starting lineup last night and blasted his 30th homerun of the season. Balentien trails Brad Eldred who is stuck at 33 homers for the CL home run crown.
  • The Swallows announced details for the 2015 fan club. No doubt responding to the accusation of the lack of value of the recent fan club offerings documented in the book we mentioned in the July podcast, the Swallows upped the ante in terms of merchandise. Some of the highlights:
    • All the merchandise tiers (i.e. all tiers but Light and Free) will now come with a fan club uniform. The art features a dark blue uniform with green letter, somewhat reminiscent of the Seattle Seahawks’ uniforms.
    • The fan club will split the current Premium tier into two new tiers, Gold (6,000 yen) and Platinum (13,000 yen). The Platinum will come with a jacket and tote bag along with 2 outfield tickets and one infield S ticket. The Gold tier will come with a cap and poncho along with 2 outfield tickets.
    • The rest of the tiers basically stay the same.
    • The points scheme will now also apply to merchandise purchases at the official Swallows stores, and the points will last for 2 years rather than expire at the end of the year like the current points.
    • You can join the 2015 Fan Club starting next Monday. Full details of the new fan club can be found at the team’s website.
  • This week’s photos. Someone found a random pair of glasses in the dugout and passed it around.

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About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he’s not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.