Kenji JohjimaKenji Johjima
Seattle Mariners — No. 2 CatcherBorn: June 8, 1976(1976-06-08) (age 32) Bats: Right Throws: Right Major League Baseball debut April 3, 2006 for the Seattle Mariners Selected MLB statistics
(through 2007) Batting Average .289 Home Runs 32 Runs Batted In 137 Teams
- 1 Team History
- 2 Career highlights
- 3 Awards
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Sources
On November 21, 2005, Johjima and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a $16.5 million, three-year contract. Prior to signing with the Mariners, he played in Japan for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks team in the Pacific League who drafted him in 1999. Johjima also played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for Japan. On April 25, 2008, the Mariners and Johjima agreed to a three-year contract extension, terms of which were not immediately available.
A seven-time All-Star for the Hawks, Johjima became a free agent after hitting .309 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI in 116 games, during the 2005 season, which was cut short by two injuries including a broken leg which ended his 2005 season prematurely.
From 1996 through 2005, Johjima hit .299 with 211 home runs and 699 RBI in 1,117 games. His most productive season came in 2003, when he hit .330 with 119 RBI and finished third with 34 home runs behind Tuffy Rhodes (51) and Alex Cabrera (50).
A winner of seven straight Gold Gloves in Japan, Johjima became the first Japanese player to catch full-time in the major leagues. Infielder Lenn Sakata, a Japanese-American born in Honolulu, caught one game for the Baltimore Orioles, winning a World Series ring in 1983.
- Pacific League MVP (2003)
- Seven-time Gold Glove winner (1999–2005)
- Six-time selection to the "Best Nine" team, chosen by Japanese sportswriters (1999–2001; 2003–2005)
- Five-time Best Battery Award winner (1999–2001, 2003, 2004)
- Monthly MVP (June 1999, April 2003, June 2004)
- Japan Series Valuable Player prize (1999, 2003)
- Japan Series Fighting Spirit prize (2000)
- Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star Game (1997–2001, 2003-2005)
- Most votes for the Japanese All-Star Game (2005)
Japan Pacific League
- Games: 1,117
- Batting Average: .299
- Hits: 1,206
- Home runs: 211
- RBIs: 699
- Stolen Bases: 63
- On April 3, 2006, Johjima and Ichiro Suzuki became the first pair of Japanese position players to take the field in an MLB starting lineup.
- Johjima once joked that he would register as "George McKensey" ('JOH-JI MA-ken-ji') should he make it to the Majors.
- Johjima's favorite hobby is ocean fishing. It is rumored that one of the reasons he chose to sign with the Seattle Mariners was Seattle's proximity to bodies of water, Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean.
- Johjima also cites his children's fondness of Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery store in Seattle, as a reason for signing with Mariners.
- (Japanese) Johjima Kenji Baseball Memorial Hall Official Site
- Baseball Reference Bullpen
- Japanese Baseball Page
- Japanese league stats and info of Kenji Johjima
2 Kenji Johjima | 3 José
Vidro | 4 José López | 5 Yuniesky Betancourt | 8 Jeremy
Reed | 13 Miguel Cairo | 15 Jamie
Burke | 16 Willie Bloomquist | 18 Ryan Rowland-Smith | 20 J. J.
Putz | 28 Raúl Ibáñez | 29 Adrián Beltré | 34 Félix Hernández | 35 Brandon Morrow | 41 R. A.
Dickey | 43 Miguel Batista | 44 Richie Sexson | 45 Érik Bédard | 50 Wladimir Balentien | 51 Ichiro Suzuki | 52 Carlos
Silva | 53 Arthur Rhodes | 54 Sean Green | 56 Jarrod Washburn | 57 Mark
Inactive (40-man) roster: 9 Jeff
Clement | 17 Yung Chi Chen | 31 Ryan Feierabend | 32 Rob Johnson | 39 Bryan
LaHair | 46 Sean White | 48 Roy
Corcoran | 59 Eric O'Flaherty | 60 Joe Woerman | 62 César Jiménez | -- Tracy
Thorpe | -- Jared Wells
Coaching Staff: Manager 7 John McLaren | Bench Coach 47 Jim Riggleman | 1st Base Coach 1 Eddie Rodriguez | 3rd Base Coach 22 Sam Perlozzo | Hitting Coach 55 Lee Elia | Pitching Coach 30 Mel Stottlemyre | Bullpen Coach 37 Norm Charlton