[9/20/2016] Yokohama Bay Stars: Daisuke Miura announces retirement

Forty-two-year-old veteran Daisuke Miura announced today during a press conference in Yokohama that this was going to be his last season. He was selected in the sixth round of the 1991 draft and spent his entire twenty-five year career in Yokohama. He informed the Bay Stars (president, general manager, manager) after a Hanshin game on September 16 of his decision.

Miura could have left Yokohama through free agency after the 2008 season (there were rumors he might sign with Hanshin), but he most likely took less to stay in the city he loved.

The veteran with the regent hairstyle will end his career with 172 victories and 183 losses in 534 games. He captured three titles during his career (winning percentage in 1997, ERA in 2005, and strikeouts in 2005), four MVP of the Months, and the Golden Spirit Award in 2007. He made it to six All-Star series and holds the NPB record for most consecutive seasons with a win (twenty-three years, 1993-2015) and most consecutive seasons with ten or more starts (twenty-one, 1995-2015). His twenty-four consecutive seasons with at least one hit was recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest streak by a professional pitcher.

Miura’s uniform number 18 will become a “Yokohama number” and will be reserved for special players.

From his press conference:

  • Why he decided to retire
    He decided to retire because he was unable to win. He told himself he would retire he if could no longer function as a starter or if he could no longer win.
  • What kept him going for twenty-five years
    He never thought he was going to have a twenty-five year career when he first turned pro. He played each year one at a time. He found a great deal of joy in seeing fans celebrate his victories.
  • His best memory
    Winning the 1998 championship.
  • On remaining in Yokohama and not signing with Hanshin
    He struggled with the decision and has no regrets. He was very happy when he was able to win his 150th game with the Bay Stars.
  • Does he have interest in becoming a coach
    He does have aspirations to become a coach, but he also wants some time to gain more experience. He would like to return to Yokohama at some point in the future.
  • Why he chose the regent hairstyle
    He liked the hairstyle. He also wanted to stand out among the other players. Standing out based on performance is the best way, but he also wanted to stand out in other areas as well. He plans to keep the hairstyle for as long as he can.
  • On being a Eikichi Yazawa fan
    He has been a fan since he was a junior high school student. His songs gave him energy and courage.

Miura is expected to get one more start on September 24 against the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama  Stadium.

Source: Yokohama Special CoverageSponichi 9/20/2016, Sponichi 9/20/2016, Sponichi 9/20/2016, Sponichi 9/20/2016, Sponichi 9/20/2016, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2016, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2016Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016Daily Sports 9/20/2016, Sanspo 9/20/2016, Sanspo 9/20/2016

[UPDATE 9/21 @ 9:02pm]

The Bay Stars announced players will wear the number eighteen during Saturday’s game against the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium.

Miura merchandise has been selling very well. Sales grew by 300 percent after his retirement press conference. His replica number eighteen uniform has already sold out.

Source: Yokohama announcement, Tokyo Sports 9/21/2016

[UPDATE 9/23 @ 1:54am]

Miura’s retirement game/ceremony was pushed back to September 29 after the game on September 22 was rained out. The Bay Stars want to schedule the retirement game/ceremony for the last home game of the season. There are two home games left on the schedule. If one or more are rained out, the retirement game/ceremony could be pushed back again.

Source: Yokohama announcement, Sanspo 9/22/2016

[UPDATE 9/30 @ 1:31am]

The Bay Stars held a retirement ceremony for Miura on September 29. He was tossed into the air eighteen times.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2016

[UPDATE 10/1 @ 2:50am]

Miura thought his night was over after the sixth inning, but coaches wanted to give him a chance to walk off the mound and let him face the first batter in the seventh inning.

Miura finishes his career with 488 starts, most in franchise history and seventh most in NPB history. His 294 consecutive starts, from 2002, is the second longest streak in NPB history. He also holds the franchise record for most hits allowed (3,146) and strikeouts (2,481).

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2016

[UPDATE 10/1 @ 10:24pm]

Miura will remain with the team for the rest of the season as a pitching coach. He is planning to take the next year off to rest and relax.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/1/2016, Sponichi 10/1/2016

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