Ken Takahashi: The Oldest Japanese Player To Debut In The Majors (2009)

Ken Takahashi was born on April 16th, 1969, in Yokohama, Japan. The six-foot left hander was originally an outfielder turned pitcher in Japan. Takahashi pitched for 14 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp, where pitched a no hitter in 1996.

After five year with sub .500 records he made his first All Star team in 2000 with a 5-9 record & 4 saves [posting a 3.93 ERA. In 2001 he went 10-8 with a 4.27 ERA making another All Star team.

He continued to pitch through 2008 where he was known as the leagues old timer. He retired but expressed an interest in pitching in the Major Leagues.

Takahashi signed a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays but injured his calf fielding a bunt in his very first Spring Training appearance. He was released & was offered a contract by the New York Mets.

USA Debut: On April 9th, 2009, he made his first American appearance at AAA Buffalo. He allowed two hits, two walks & a run to Pawtucket. After six games he was called up to the Mets to fill in for an injured Casey Fossum.

MLB Debut: On May 2nd, he became the oldest Japanese player to debut in the major leagues, as he came in the 5th inning to relieve Oliver Perez, in a 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies as Citizens Bank Park.

Takahashi remained with the club through the year, making 28 relief appearances. On May 13th he took his only decision, a loss to the Braves at Citi Field, while allowing a HR to Martin Prado.

In 28 games Ken was 0-1 with 23 strike outs 14 walks & a 2.96 ERA in 27.1 innings of work.

The Mets did not resign him & went to pitch in Japan another season in 2010.


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