Thirty-eight-year-old Masaru Takeda held a press conference at Sapporo Dome earlier and officially announced that was retiring. A retirement ceremony is scheduled for September 30 (vs Lotte at Sapporo Dome).
Takeda felt like he could still pitch the last two or three years, but he slowly found himself cheering for the younger players in the organization. He decided to retire because the motivation was no longer there.
Takeda managed to put together decent numbers even though he was not an overpowering pitcher (he was on the small side at 176 centimeters and his fastball was in the 130km/h range). He won at least ten games in four consecutive seasons between 2009 and 2012. He made it to the All-Star Games in 2011 and won MVP of the Month in March/April 2012. The Fighters made it to the Nippon Series four times during his career (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012). He won eighty-two games and lost sixty-one in 243 appearances.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 5:18am]
Takeda will stay with the team as a batting practice pitcher in preparation for the Final Stage of the Climax Series.
Source: Sanspo 10/2/2016
[UPDATE 12/14 @ 10:40pm]
The Fighters announced today that Takeda will be assigned to the BC League’s Ishikawa Million Stars as both a coach and vice president.
Source: Nippon Ham announcement