Forty-one-year-old Ryoji Aikawa held a press conference at Jingu Stadium before tonight’s Yakult Swallows to announced his decision to retire after the season. He told the media he decided to retire because he realized there was no longer a place for him on the team with the development of Seiji Kobayashi and Shingo Usami. He also told the media that he was offered a job to coach, but he turned it down because he felt he was not yet ready.
Aikawa started his professional career with the Yokohama Bay Stars after he was selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft. He used his free agent option after the 2008 season and signed with the Yakult Swallows. He again exercised his option after the 2014 season and joined the Yomiuri Giants.
Aikawa made the Olympic team in 2004 and the World Baseball Classic teams in 2006 and 2013. He played in 1,507 games, collected 1,149 hits, and finished with a slash line of .259/.309/.351.
Stats are through October 2, 2017.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 11:25pm]
Aikawa played in tonight’s game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and recorded an infield hit. He turned down a catch to do some catching during the game.
Players from both teams tossed Aikawa into the air eight times.
Source: Sponichi 10/3/2017
[UPDATE 11/24 @ 3:43pm]
The Giants held a retirement ceremony for Aikawa during Fan Festa on November 23.
Source: Yomiuri 11/24/20170 Comments
Thirty-four-year-old Yasuyuki Kataoka held a press conference at Tokyo Dome early today to announce his decision to retire at the end of the season. He told the media that he decided to retire because he felt his body was no longer able to keep up with the daily grind. He also said he felt recent injuries were slowing him down.
Kataoka has been troubled with leg injuries (hamstring, calf, knee) the last few years. This was the first time in his thirteen-year career that he failed to make an appearance in an Ichi-gun game during a season.
The Seibu Lions selected Kataoka in the third round of the 2004 draft. While with the Lions, he won four stolen bases titles in a row (2007-2010). He made Best Nine at second in 2008, was selected to the All-Star Game in 2008 and 2010, and was part of the 2009 WBC team. Kataoka exercised his free agent option after the 2013 season and signed a two-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants.
[UPDATE 11/24 @ 3:44pm]
The Giants held a retirement ceremony for Kataoka during Fan Festa on November 23.
Source: Yomiuri 11/24/20170 Comments
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 24.0 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 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 9/27 @ 5:26pm]
Egusa pitched in his retirement game earlier today. He entered the game in the eighth inning against Ni-gun Hanshin at Koshien Stadium and faced one batter. He gave up a double to former batterymate Keisuke Kano.
Egusa was tossed into the air five times by his Hiroshima teammates, then five times by Hanshin.
Added additional game notes on 9/27 @ 10:07pm.0 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.
[UPDATE 9/27 @ 5:26pm]
Kano got the start at designated hitter and batted fourth during his retirement game against Ni-gun Hiroshima at Koshien Stadium earlier today. He hit a double off former batterymate Hirotaka Egusa in the eighth inning. He finished the game 1-for-5.
Kano also got to catch Yuya Ando for one batter in the ninth inning (struck out Shota Dobayashi swinging on four pitches, last out of the inning).
Kano was tossed into the air by teammates five times after the game.
Over 1,000 fans lined up outside the stadium before the gates opened. Total attendance was 6,805.
Added additional game notes on 9/27 @ 10:07pm and 9/28 @ 11:19am.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/28/2017, Tokyo Sports 9/27/2017, Sponichi 9/27/2017, Sponichi 9/28/20170 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 9/20/2017
[UPDATE 10/11 @ 2:43pm]
Ando was tossed into the air six times by teammates during his post-game retirement ceremony on October 10 (game on October 6 was postponed to October 10).
Ando entered the game in the eighth and faced two batters: solo home run to Shun Ishikawa and ground out to third to Kei Nomoto.
Source: Daily Sports 10/11/20170 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.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 11:20pm]
Iiyama played in his retirement game on October 3 against Orix at Sapporo Dome. He entered the game as a defensive replacement at short in the eighth inning and helped turn a double play. During his at bat in the bottom-half of the inning, he flied out to left.
After the game, teammates tossed Iiyama into the air seven times.
Source: Daily Sports 10/3/2017
[UPDATE 10/10 @ 1:50pm]
The media learned on October 9 that Iiyama is planning to remain in the organization as a Ni-gun infield/base coach.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/10/20170 Comments
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.
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 11:25pm]
Team mates tossed Iguchi into the air eight times during his retirement ceremony on September 24.
[UPDATE 9/26 @ 7:29pm]
The Marines are open to Iguchi keeping the uniform number 6 if he agrees to take over as manager.
Source: Sponichi 9/26/2017
[UPDATE 9/30 @ 1:51am]
The Marines announced on September 29 that they have so far received ten orders for their special commemorative Iguchi ring. The ring carries a price tag of 165,000 yen. The Marines will be accepting orders until October 1.
Source: Daily Sports 9/29/20170 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