Happy New Year everyone. Considering Steve posted the official We Love Marines Memories and Best of 2013 blog, I figured it’s a good time to for me to weigh in with my first post of 2014. Here’s a mishmash some of my top memories from 2013 that didn’t make it into Steve’s post.1
1 Yes, apparently 2000+ words didn’t cover everything.
Craig’s MVP Honorable Mentions
I agree with Steve on awarding Imae MVP honors, despite Iguchi’s team leading OPS. Imae was steady from start to finish in the heart of the lineup. A better case could probably be made for Iguchi, had he maintained his first half tear throughout the whole season. All that aside, I just want to take a moment to honor Iguchi again for getting his 2000th career NPB/MLB hit. The hit, no less, was a late go ahead home run that almost broke Masahiro Tanaka’s winning streak in the midst of a pennant race with the first place Eagles.
Steve also mentioned the likes of relievers Matsunaga and Carlos Rosa in his post. There’s one more member of the bullpen that deserves a bulk of credit for our success, and that’s Naoya Masuda. Masuda was the workhorse of the pitching staff, leading the PL in both saves (33) and appearances (68).
Craig’s Home Run of 2013: Craig Brazell, July 17th
Craig Brazell’s go-ahead and eventual game winning shot in Game 2 of the Climax Series Final Stage was as clutch as it comes. No doubt about it. Still, the most memorable Braz jack of the year for me came in a game versus the Hawks on a rainy night in the dog days of summer. Craig was swinging a red hot bat after inking a mid-season deal returning to Japan to play for Our Marines. On that note, we’re all very glad to hear he’s coming back to play in Chiba next year too. I’ll let the replay speak for itself, I recall Steve saying this was the hardest hit ball he’s ever seen at QVC.
Craig’s Defensive Play of 2013: Okada, April 9th
The catch of the year goes to two-time golden glove recipient Yoshifumi Okada. Granted the human highlight reel (my apologies to Dominique Wilkins fans) provided us with yet another year of Spidermanesque catches in center, but this one stuck out most for me. Mostly, the degree of difficulty was quite high for this grab. Anyone who regularly visits QVC Marine Feild knows of the often less than desirable weather conditions down by Tokyo Bay in April. It was a sinking line drive that I’m sure the howling wind must of played tricks with – notice Yoshimi on the mound and his uniform flapping wildly in the wind before the pitch. Not to mention, Okada almost
broke his wrist lost his glove in the process of securing the ball.
Craig’s Worst Blooper of 2013: A 3 Run Wild Pitch
Yes that’s right. Three runs on a wild pitch. Luckily, it was the Fighters who supplied us with the most memorable comedy of errors in a game involving Our Marines. Keep in mind, this broke open what was at the time a 2-2 game. Here’s an updated .gif thanks to DK in the comments section.
Thanks again to Our Marines for the 2013 memories, and thanks to all the readers of We Love Marines. Opening day can’t come soon enough.