The media learned on September 22 that Shinobu Fukuhara is planning to retire this year. A press conference to announce the decision will be held shortly. A retirement game could be held on October 1 (last home game of the season).
Source: Daily Sports 9/23/2016
[UPDATE 9/24 @ 12:30am]
Fukuhara held a press conference at a hotel in Nishinomiya, Hyogo on September 23 and formally announced that he decided to retire.
A few notes:
- He retired because he was unable to help the team. He also had a hard time getting outs at Ni-gun and was no longer getting swinging strikes and foul balls on pitches he thought were good.
- The first people he told about his retirement was his family. His kids still wanted him to play.
- He has no regrets.
- His best memories were the two league pennants.
- He was selected in the third round of the 1999 draft out of Toyo University.
- He recorded a career high twelve victories in 2006. He appeared in at least fifty games in five consecutive seasons, beginning in 2011. He won the Best Reliever Award in 2014 and 2015, the MVP of the Month in April 2004, and made it to won All-Star series (2004). He recorded eighty-three victories, 104 losses, twenty-nine saves, and 118 holds in 594 games.
- A retirement ceremony is scheduled for October 1 (vs Yomiuri at Koshien).
Source: Hanshin announcement, Sports Hochi 9/23/2016, Sponichi 9/23/2016, Daily Sports 9/23/2016
[UPDATE 9/26 @ 4:43pm]
The Tigers announced that Fukuhara’s retirement ceremony will take place on October 1.
Source: Hanshin announcement
[UPDATE 9/30 @ 4:14am]
The Tigers have offered Fukuhara a job as coach.
Source: Sanspo 9/29/2016
[UPDATE 10/1 @ 7:00pm]
The Tigers held a retirement ceremony for Fukuhara after their game against the Yomiuri Giants today. He was tossed into the air eight times.
Source: Daily Sports 10/1/2016