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Jim Tatum: 1997 Yakult Swallows

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Jim Tatum: 1997 Yakult Swallows

I was talking with Bobby Valentine a few days ago and decided to look for new baseball sites in Japan. I came across yours and found that I am nowhere to be found. So I thought I would fill you in on my career in Japan.

I came over to Japan in June of 1997 and played for the Yakult Swallows and manager Katsunori Nomura, the second all-time home run leader behind Oh. I was his choice because he did not like the front office choice of Luis Ortiz. So he sent for me to be a part of the stretch drive.

I played my first game on July 4th and went 0-4 with 2 K's. You could imagine what they were saying about me. Well the next night I was 0-3 and steping in for my last AB at Jingu. Then I launch on dead center, 15 rows back, and from that point I was on my way. As you know, Jingu is a hitters park from the gaps to the foul poles, so I rest my case how far I hit that ball to dead center. The only other ball I saw leave the park dead center was Hideki Matsui of the Giants.

I went on to hit .309, 13 HRs, 25 RBIs in 135 at bats. We clinched a playoff [Japan Series] spot by winning the Central League, and we would face Matsui (Kazuo), Suzuki, Martinez, and company from the Sebui Lions.

In Game One, I hit the game winning home run in the top of the 8th to give us a one run lead, and that is all Ishii, who now pitches for the Dodgers, needed. We ended up winning the Japan Series and I established a history in Japan Baseball. Well, I thought until I went on to your website.

Please add me to your website. I would love to have you come on my radio show to talk about your site and Japan baseball. I have had Wayne Grazync on several times.


Jim Tatum
jim.tatum at{} jockam1240 dot{} com
Re: Jim Tatum: 1997 Yakult Swallows
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Dec 31, 2003 10:59 AM | YBS Fan ]

Apologies for not having you. You're now registered here.

Of all the years I've been doing this, 2002 was the first time that I managed to get all of the players into the registry. I'm slowly entering those who joined after the start of the season (as was your case) in reverse chronological order from there. But I only made it mid-way through 2001 when the 2003 data was released. That has higher priority. Otherwise, I fill in data for players on request (again, such as in your case).

I'll think about the radio interview offer. Have to go out with the family now.

Nice to hear from you.
Re: Jim Tatum: 1997 Yakult Swallows
[ Author: tatum1240 | Posted: Jan 1, 2004 5:06 AM ]

Thanks Westbay,

I hope you still continue to bring Japan Baseball to the web for years to come.

It is nice to go and look at information on past and present players. There is a lot of interest on my part, and I am sure from other baseball fans as well.

I hope to have an opportunity to go back to Japan with Bobby V. next year and coach. I will keep you posted.

Jim Tatum
jim.tatum .at. jockam1240 .dot. com

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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