Tony Barnette is a Tokyo Yakult Swallows legend. A 10th round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006, he moved to Tokyo in 2010. His first start saw him pitch seven hitless-innings and earn a 1-0 victory against the Yokohama Baystars. Moving to the bullpen in 2011, he never looked back – leading the Central League in saves in 2012 and 2015. In his six years with the team, he made 260 appearances with 97 saves and a 3.58 ERA. Now with the Texas Rangers, Tony has kindly taken time out of his busy schedule to talk to Maction Planet about his time with the Swallows, his feelings about the team and Tokyo, and the things he misses most about The World’s Greatest Metropolis. We are privileged to feature EXCLUSIVE never-before-seen photos of Tony in action straight from the stands at Jingu Stadium and Beyond, taken by Baseball Photographer Extraordinaire Akira Morita.
2: 風吹けば名無し 2017/07/20(木) 03:31:16.28 ID:uAxlpEFA0
Tony, Tetsuto Yamada and Yasuhiro Ogawa (along with mascots Tsubakuro and Torukuya) get ready for the Kanto Ippon-jime victory clap after beating Yokohama 4-2 on 24 September 2015. Tony had another reason to celebrate – he had just broken the Swallows’ single season saves record
Maction Planet: Tony – thank you for joining us. Let’s start at the very beginning – when was your first visit to Tokyo, and why?
Tony Barnette: Hi Mac. Thanks for having me here. To answer your question, it’s simple – my first trip was to play for the Swallows!
MP: What were your initial thoughts about the city?
TB: On the drive in from Narita Airport, I remember being glued to the windows of the van just trying to take in all the buildings and lights of Tokyo.