Satoru Komiyama had been a seven-time All-Star in Japan when the Mets signed him to a one-year deal in December 2001, but the 36-year-old right-hander was unable to bring that success to Major League Baseball.
A control pitcher, Komiyama had the misfortune of being billed as “the Japanese Greg Maddux” when Mets GM Steve Phillips introduced him to the New York media.
Komiyama was never comfortable with that label. “It’s a very honorable thing,” he told New York Post reporter Tom Keegan during spring training. “I really respect Greg Maddux, but I don’t want to be called the Greg Maddux of Japan because I respect him too much.”
Komiyama also never seemed comfortable with his role in the Mets’ bullpen. Almost exclusively a starter in Japan, Komiyama struggled with the irregular workload he received as a Met. He ended up splitting the year between the major leagues and Triple-A Norfolk, and put together an 0-3 record with a 5.61 ERA in 25 major league relief appearances.
After leaving the Mets, Komiyama returned to Japan and pitched for the Chiba Lotte Marines until 2009. According to Wikipedia, Komiyama has also found work as a baseball commentator.
I bought this certified autographed baseball card in 2012 for $30, making it one of the more expensive additions to my collection.