Card of the Day: 2008 Bowman Chrome Kosuke Fukudome Japan

This is what happens when I get too much time on my hands during a lunch break. I get bored. I go to Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and I buy baseball cards. Damnit, I’m weak. I was actually in search of a Wii Fit, but ended up buying nine packs of Bowman Chrome (in blister wrappers so they were not searched) and pulled this thing. Go figure. Under normal circumstances I’d be thrilled. I mean Japanese players in their first year plus Bowman Chrome usually make for a good pull, yes? That’s true unless that player happens to be the most over-rated Japanese player Major League Baseball has seen in a decade.

Here we’ve got a 2008 Bowman Chrome Kosuke Fukudome card featuring him in his Japanese World Baseball Classic uniform. Before the 2008 season there was much hype for the outfielder who signed with the Chicago Cubs — you had to know you were jinxing yourself, right? — and on opening day he won over baseball fans worldwide with a game-tying home run. But where was he during the Cubs early exit in the National League Division Series? On the damn bench.

It’s funny how baseball works these days. You get one hall of fame caliber player (Ichiro) from Japan and suddenly anyone who can hit 30 homers in Japan can be a Major League star, right? Teams pays millions to chat up the player, pay millions more to pry them away from their current club and then bring them to America, where the fans of the player’s team greets him with a parade.

Somewhere along the way baseball seems to have lost something.

Scouts can go to the outskirts of south American and find a kid playing ball with a milk carton glove and unearth a gem. But in the case of Japanese players — who are already akin to a professional brand of ball — scouts are hit and miss.ctor Why?

Fukudome is the latest of the bunch not to live up to his so-called potential.

And if you’re interested here are a few other things I pulled from the backs. I sure as heck beat the odds with the Carlos Beltran gold refractor #’d 50, but pulled no autos. My prospects were mainly trash except for Juan Francisco, third baseman for the Reds. The Fukudome is my first card featuring him, and while valued at about $10, I have a feeling it’ll remain in my collection for years just for discussion purposes.

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