Wednesday, March 31, 2021

1981 Topps Lenn Sakata


The front: Cool spring training shot with the overhanging grandstand and the guy in street clothes. Looks like Topps airbrushed his face a bit to preserve his anonymity.

The back: Sakata played golf at Kalani High School in Honolulu.

The player: Originally with the Brewers, the Orioles traded for Sakata after the 1979 season to replace Mark Belanger. Sakata was a regular for the Orioles in 1981 and 1982 until Cal Ripken took over the shortstop job. He hung on as a backup for the Orioles through 1985, and ended his career with stints with the A's and Yankees.

The man: Sakata has had a long career as a minor league coach and manager. He is currently the manager of the San Jose Giants.

My collection: I have 17 of his cards, from 1980 to 1988. I would be interested in trading for 1992 The Wiz Yankees #167.


  1. I think Sakata was the first Japanese MLB baseball player I learned about (didn't hear about Murakami until later)... and the only one until Nomo-mania came along.

  2. Cool to see a golf cartoon on the back of a baseball card!