The Chunichi Dragons announced today that thirty-nine-year-old Masahiko Morino will be retiring at the end of the season. A retirement ceremony is set for September 24 (vs Hiroshima).
Morino hurt his right leg during a Hiroshima game on July 2 and was taken off the active roster on the following day. He has been at Ni-gun ever since.
Morino was selected by the Dragons in the second round of the 1996 draft. He settled into an everyday job at third in 2006. He recorded his first full season in 2009 and hit forty-two doubles and drove in 109 RBIs in the same year. Morino helped the team win a pennant in 2010 with a .327 batting average, forty-five doubles, and twenty-two home runs.
Morino won a Best Nine at third in 2010 and a Golden Glove at first in 2014. He made it to the All-Star in 2007 and 2010.
[UPDATE 9/23 @ 2:06am]
The Dragons posted an announcement about Morino’s decision to retire on September 21. They also announced that his retirement ceremony will take place on September 24 at Nagoya Dome (vs Hiroshima).
Chunichi is expected offer Morino a job as coach.
[UPDATE 9/24 @ 5:03pm]
Retirement game on September 24: Morino entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and grounded out to first. He reached based on was replaced by a pinch-runner. Atsushi Fujii and Kosuke Tanaka presented Morino with flowers.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/24/2017
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 1:26am]
Morino is scheduled to return to the Dragons next year as a hitting coach.
Source: Daily Sports 9/24/2017
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 1:51am]
The Dragons have posted a page covering Morino’s career.
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 11:21pm]
Morino was tossed into the air seven times by team mates during his retirement ceremony on September 24.