Tag Archive: Retirement


[6/20/2017] Tadahito Iguchi to retire after the season

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 6/20/2017Sanspo 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


[6/19/2017] Tomo Ohka to retire

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

Source: Sponichi 6/19/2017, Daily Sports 6/19/2017


[4/12/2017] Akinori Iwamura to retire as player after 2017 season

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.

Source: BCL 4/9/2017Daily Sports 4/10/2017


[3/19/2017] Kenshin Kawakami to retire

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.

Source: Sponichi 3/19/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/19/2017

[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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/25/2017, Sponichi 3/25/2017


Updates on Seiichi Sakayori, Atori Ota, Susumu Aizawa, Ryota Katsuki

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 1/11/2017


[1/10/2017] Updates on Mitsutaka Goto, Akihisa Makida, Tomohito Yoneno, Shota Oba, Shingo Tatsumi

Thirty-eight-year-old Mitsutaka Goto held a press conference at Kobo Park Miyagi earlier today to announce his retirement.

The Eagles announced today that Goto and Akihisa Makida will be junior coaches for their baseball academy.

Source: Rakuten announcement, Eagles Academy announcement

Thirty-four-year-old Tomohito Yoneno is planning to open a gluten-free restaurant in Shimokitazawa. The Nippon Ham Fighters were planning to offer him a new contract, but he decided to retire because he felt now was the best time to start something new.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/10/2017

Chunichi senryokugai and former Softbank Hawk Shota Oba is thinking about becoming a keirin racer. According to Sponichi, there are currently seven keirin racers that played baseball professionally. One of them, former Yakult Swallows Hideyuki Matsutani, has found some success.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/9/2017, Sponichi 1/9/2017

Former Softbank Hawk Shingo Tatsumi joined a temp agency called Agekke. He will be working with Agekke staff at Zozo Marine.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/9/2017


[1/5/2017] Updates on Ken Kato, Takanori Hoshi, Mitsutaka Goto, Shun Yamashita

The media learned on January 4 that thirty-five-year-old Ken Kato is planning to retire. Kato was released by the Yomiuri Giants in October last year. He was offered a job to stay in the organization, but he turned it down because he wanted to continue playing. He attended the twelve team tryouts but did not receive any offers. He came to terms with his situation and decided to retire.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/5/2017, Sponichi 1/5/2017

Thirty-four-year-old Takanori Hoshi was let go by the Seibu Lions after last season. He was also offered a job as Ni-gun Ikusei coach, which he accepted.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/5/2017

Thirty-eight-year-old Mitsutaka Goto is expected to take a job as a Rakuten Eagles’ youth coach.

Source: Sponichi 1/5/2017

Former Yokohama Bay Star Shun Yamashita is set to work for a company called Equal One.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/4/2017


[12/31/2016] Updates on Kentaro Nishikawa, Yuji Arahari, Takashi Kawai, Toshio Saito

Twenty-three-year-old Kentaro Nishikawa was drafted by the Chunichi Dragons in 2011. He made his Ichi-gun debut in 2012 and won his first game in 2013. He was limited to six games between 2014 and 2015 because of problems with his right adductor. He failed to pitch in any Ichi-gun games this season and was released in October. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November with hopes of joining a new team. The Dragons later offered him a job as batting practice pitcher. He decided to accept the job a few days later because there were no offers to play (he and his wife were also expecting their first child).

Source: Daily Sports 12/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/30/2016

Twenty-seven-year-old Yuji Arahari was selected the Nippon Ham Fighters in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. He spent seven years in the Fighters’ organization, but never played in any Ichi-gun games. He informed Nippon Ham in October this year that he wanted to quit baseball and pursue a career as a firefighter.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/31/2016

Forty-year-old Takashi Kawai retired from baseball and decided to remain with the Rakuten Eagles. He will be a Ni-gun batting practice pitcher.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/31/2016

Thirty-three-year-old Toshio Saito decided to retire and accept the advance scouting job the Orix Buffaloes offered him when they released him.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/31/2016


[12/30/2016] Updates on Mitsutaka Goto, Takuya Hara, Hugo Kanabushi, Kodai Ishigaki, Kaito Goya

Mitsutaka Goto told the media on December 24 that he was planning to retire. Goto attended the twelve tryouts last month with hopes of playing another year or two, but did not receive any offers. He was the last active player in the NPB (other than Ichiro) with ties to the Orix BlueWave. He is expected to take a job in the Eagles’ organization.

Source: Daily Sports 12/24/2016, Daily Sports 12/24/2016Sports Hochi 12/24/2016, Sponichi 12/24/2016, Sponichi 12/24/2016Nikkan Sports 12/24/2016

Thirty-two-year-old Takuya Hara started his career with Seibu and was traded to Orix in 2012. He attended the twelve team tryout in November after his release and went 0-for-4. He felt he had a good run and decided to retire. Hara hopes to devote some of his time toward improving the rate at which children are placed on waiting lists for nursery schools and childcare facilities.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/30/2016

Twenty-seven-year-old Hugo Kanabushi will be playing for the BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves next year. He started his career with Yakult (2011 Ikusei draft, second round) and later signed an Ikusei contract with Yomiuri (2015). He made the seventy-man roster this year, but was released after the season. He considered retirement, but attended the twelve team tryouts in November and topped out at 138km/h.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/30/2016, official announcement

Twenty-year-old Kodai Ishigaki was selected by Chunichi in the second round of the 2014 Ikusei draft. He was released after the season and attended the twelve team tryouts in November. He struck out two and topped out at 139km/h. He also auditioned for a talent agency. He passed his audition and decided to join the entertainment industry.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/30/2016

Nineteen-year-old Kaito Goya was selected by Chunichi in the fifth round of the 2015 Ikusei draft. He decided to retire in August because he felt he would never be good enough to make the active roster. He plans to join his father at a shipping company in Tokyo.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/30/2016


[12/23/2016] Updates on Nagisa Arakaki, Shotaro Ide, Takahiro Suzuki, Keiyo Aomatsu

Nagisa Arakaki was senryokugaied by the Yakult Swallows on October 1. Arakaki attended the twelve team tryout in November and retired all three batters he faced. He waited for offers from other teams, but did not receive any. The media learned on December 20 that he accepted a job with the Softbank Hawks. He will join their baseball promotion department and coach kids.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/21/2016

Shotaro Ide had problems with sudden nausea the last two years. This year, he found it difficult to swing the bat properly after he strained his back during spring camp. The piling issues made him feel it was time to retire. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November and went 1-for-5, but did not receive any offers. He is scheduled to join Softbank’s baseball promotion department.

Source: Sponichi 12/21/2016

Takahiro Suzuki sat in front of his locker for about an hour after losing the Climax Series to Yokohama on October 10. At the time, he was still struggling with his decision to retire, even though he was about ninety percent sure. It was not until he met his parents later that day (he drove to Fukushima after the game) that he was able to come to terms with the decision.

Source: Sponichi 12/22/2016

The media learned on December 21 that Lotte senryokugai Keiyo Aomatsu has decided to retire. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November and went 2-for-5, but did not receive any offers.

Source: Sponichi 12/22/2016

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 89 56 31 2
Hanshin 85 46 39 0
Yokohama 88 45 40 3
Yomiuri 88 41 46 1
Chunichi 90 39 48 3
Yakult 88 29 57 2
Rakuten 81 55 25 1
Softbank 89 58 31 0
Seibu 85 46 37 2
Orix 85 38 46 1
Nippon Ham 88 32 56 0
Lotte 86 28 57 1
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