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.0 Comments
Hirotaka Egusa informed the Hiroshima Carp that he wanted to retire at the end of the season. The Carp accepted his decision today. There are no plans for a retirement ceremony. He will most likely pitch in the last game of his career at Ni-gun some time between September 26 and 28.
Egusa joined Hanshin during the 2002 draft and has spent most of his career pitching out of the bullpen (349 games, 13 starts). He was traded to Seibu partway through the 2011 season. He was then traded to Hiroshima before the start of the 2012 season.
Source: Daily Sports 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 9/20 @ 11:29pm]
Egusa decided to retire because he could no longer throw the ball the way he wanted to throw the ball and could no longer record outs the way he wanted to record outs. He address his teammates after practices today.
Source: Sanspo 9/20/20170 Comments
According to a report by Daily Sports, thirty-four-year-old Keisuke Kano is planning to retire after the season. Kano felt it was time to hang up his uniform based on how things have gone this year and spoke to Tomoaki Kanemoto about his decision earlier this month on September 7. An announcement will be made soon and a press conference will be held some time early next week.
Kano started the season thinking that this might be his last. He made the opening day roster, but was sent down to Ni-gun on April 5 to make room for Takumi Akiyama. He gave himself until the end of July to return to the active roster, but he did not get the call until August 26. He was against sent back to Ni-gun on September 4.
The Hanshin Tigers are planning to hold a retirement game for Kano at Ni-gun on September 27 (vs Hiroshima).
Source: Daily Sports 9/16/2017
[UPDATE 9/18 @ 4:12pm]
The Tigers held a press conference for Kano at their offices in Nishinomiya earlier today.0 Comments
Thirty-nine-year-old Yuya Ando will be retiring at the end of the season. He is slated to hold a press conference in Nishinomiya later today. The Hanshin Tigers may have offered him a job within the organization, but nothing has been decided yet. The Tigers might also schedule a retirement game on September 25.
[UPDATE 9/15 @ 9:30pm]
The Tigers held a press conference for Ando at a hotel in Nishinomiya today.
Source: Hanshin 9/15/2017
[UPDATE 9/20 @ 4:45pm]
Ando is scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima at Koshien Stadium on September 27. He will face one batter.
Source: Sanspo 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 9/20 @ 10:49pm]
The Tigers announced today that they will hold a retirement ceremony for Ando during a Chunichi game at Koshien on October 6.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/20/20170 Comments
Thirty-eight-year-old Yuji Iiyama is planning to retire after the season.
Iiyama hurt his left biceps femoris before opening day and started the season at Ni-gun. He made it to Ichi-gun on August 9, but when the team was eliminated from a first place finish, the Nippon Ham Fighters started giving younger players more playing time. Iiyama has been at Ni-gun ever since he was taken off the active roster on September 1.
[UPDATE 9/15 @ 9:06pm]
The Fighters held a press conference for Iiyama at their office in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo.
Forty-two-year-old Tadahito Iguchi has decided to retire after the season. During a press conference at ZOZO Marine Stadium earlier today, he told the media that he made his decision to retire last year and that he asked the team to give him one more year during contract negotiations. He also said he made the announcement now because he wanted to give fans as many opportunities to see him play. After the press conference, Katsuya Kakunaka and Daichi Suzuki presented Iguchi with flowers.
Iguchi played college ball at Aoyama Gakuin University. He played in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics during his senior year and began his NPB career with Daiei. He blasted a grand slam in his first Ichi-gun game on May 3, 1997. He led the league in stolen bases in 2001 (forty-four) and 2003 (forty-two). He made the All-Star team four times (2001-2004), the Best Nine three times (2001, 2003, 2004), and won four Golden Gloves (2001, 2003, 2004) during his eight years with Daiei. He joined the 30/30 club in 2001 with thirty home runs and forty-four stolen bases and tied an NPB record with four doubles in one game on July 26, 2003.
He became a free agent after the 2004 season and signed a two-year deal with the Chicago White Sox. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2007 season and then signed with the San Diego Padres in December 2007. He returned to the Phllies one last time in 2008 and then decided to return to Japan. He signed a three-year deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines in January 2009 and has been with the team since.
Iguchi made the All-Star team five times with Lotte (2009-2013), recorded his 250th NPB+MLB home run on April 16, 2013 and his 2,000th NPB+MLB hit on July 26, 2013. He recorded at least one home run out of every spot in the line-up when he blasted a home run while batting fourth on April 7, 2009.
Source: Tokyo Sports 6/20/2017, Sanspo 6/20/2017, Chunichi Sports 6/20/2017, Sponichi 6/20/2017, Sponichi 6/20/2017, Sports Hochi 6/20/2017, Daily Sports 6/20/2017, Daily Sports 6/20/2017, Daily Sports 6/20/2017
[UPDATE 7/13 @ 2:46pm]
The Marines announced today that Iguchi’s retirement game will take place on September 24.
Source: Lotte 7/13/2017
[UPDATE 9/24 @ 10:01pm]
Iguchi started at designated hitter and batted sixth against Nippon Ham at ZOZO Marine Stadium on September 24. He went 2-for-5: 1B7, G4, Ks, HR8 two RBI, F9. Hiroki Kokubo, Hiroshi Shibahara, and Kazumi Saito attended the post-game retirement ceremony and presented Iguchi with flowers.
Source: Tokyo Sports 9/24/2017
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 1:55am]
For those that missed it, the Marines have opened a special Iguchi section at their site.0 Comments
The media learned on today that forty-one-year-old Tomo Ohka has decided to retire after attempting an MLB comeback. He tried to find a spot in the Orioles organization, but was let go in late-March. He waited for other offers, but got none.
Ohka was selected by Yokohama in the third round of the 1994 draft. He stayed in the organization until his release after the 1998 season. He signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox in December 1998 and was later traded to the Montreal Expos in 2001. He made his way to the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade during the 2005 season. He then bounced around a number of organizations (Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, and the Cleveland Indians) before he returned to Yokohama for two seasons (2010, 2011). He bounced around some more in Japan and the United States (Toyama Thunderbirds in 2013, Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, Bridgeport Bluefish in 2014, Toyama Thunderbirds in 2015, Fukushima Hopes between 2015 and 2016) and picked up the knuckleball along the way. He signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles in December 2016.
NPB: 63 G, 8-17, 5.23 ERA, 1.54 WHIP
MLB: 202 G, 51-68, 4.26 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
Akinori Iwamura announced his decision to retire as a player after the current season during a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on April 10. He is currently a playing manager with the BC League’s Fukushima Hopes. During the press conference, he said he thought it was time to retire because he was finding it more and more difficult to pencil his name into the line-up.
[UPDATE 8/1 @ 11:53pm]
Iwamura’s retirement game is set to take place on September 10.
[UPDATE 9/10 @ 9:55pm]
Iwamura got the start at designated hitter and batted lead-off against the Musashi Heat Bears today. He went 2-for-4: a single to left in the fifth and a single to center in the seventh. He pulled himself out of the game by calling for a pinch-runner.
Over 3,600 fans showed up for Iwamura’s retirement game.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/10/20170 Comments
Forty-one-year-old Kenshin Kawakami has decided to retire. He has not played for a team since he left the Chunichi Dragons in 2015. He was attempting to make a comeback from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder, but things did not work out as planned for the forty-one-year-old pitcher.
Kawakami was drafted by the Chunichi in 1997. He exercised his international free agent option in 2008 and spent three seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He returned to the Dragons in 2012 and remained in the organization until his departure in October 2015.
[UPDATE 3/26 @ 10:08pm]
Kawakami is slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Hiroshima vs Chunichi game at Nagoya Dome on April 5.0 Comments
Twenty-six-year-old Seiichi Sakayori and twenty-seven-year-old Atori Ota were let go by the Orix Buffaloes after the 2016 season. The media learned on January 24 that both players are trying to become police officers. Sakayori is planning to take a test for the Hyogo police department this spring. Ota has already made it passed the Metropolitan Police Department’s first round of tests.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/25/2017
Industrial League team Vital-net announced on January 16 that they added twenty-nine-year-old Susumu Aizawa. The former Rakuten Eagle attended a tryout with the team on January 10.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/17/2017
Thirty-four-year-old Ryota Katsuki is not ready to retire and is planning to attend tryouts for the CPBL.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/11/20170 Comments