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:
Miura is expected to get one more start on September 24 against the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium.
Source: Yokohama Special Coverage, Sponichi 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 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Daily 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.
[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.
[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).
[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.