Tag Archive: Retirement

[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


[12/20/2016] Updates on Ryoji Katsuki, Kenta Kurihara, Katsuhiko Saka, Toshiyuki Yanuki, Atsushi Okamoto

When Ryoji Katsuki’s father passed away on November 20, 2006, he thought about quitting baseball because he was worried about his mother and because he ruptured a ligament in his right elbow. His manager at the time pushed him to keep playing. He had surgery on his elbow and his team, the Golden Larks, made it to the Inter-city Tournament in 2007 and 2008. He later became the first player in Golden Larks’ history to make it to the NPB (2008 draft, sixth round). He was senryokugaied by Lotte on October 1, 2016. He gave himself about a week after the draft on October 20 to find a new team. He received no offers and returned to his former manager on October 29. He was again persuaded to keep playing and agreed to return to the Golden Larks as a player/coach.

Source: Sponichi 12/16/2016

Kenta Kurihara developed chronic pain in his right elbow. He had surgery three times (2008, 2012, 2014) with hopes that his condition would improve. But the pain never fully went away and he was unable to regain the powerful swing he once had. One of the reasons why he retired this year was because he was unable to make the active roster — he had not played in an Ich-gun game since 2013.

Source: Sponichi 12/18/2016

Katsuhiko Saka considered retirement when he was senryokugaied by the Hanshin Tigers, but still felt he was healthy enough to play. He took part in the twelve team tryouts last month and went 2-for-5. He started off with the strong desire to return to the NPB, but without any offers, he expanded his options. He is currently planning to sign with the 06 Bulls as a player/coach.

Source: Sponichi 12/19/2016

Toshiyuki Yanuki is set to join the Yomiuri Giants’ staff, effective January 1, 2017.

Source: Sponichi 12/20/2016

Atsushi Okamoto decided to retire this year because he felt he reached the end of the line. Okamoto was never quite the same after he suffered a stress fracture in his hip in 2010. He also continued to feel pain after he had surgery on his right elbow last year. He slowly started losing stream and made the decision to retire in September this year.

Source: Sponichi 12/20/2016


[12/15/2016] Updates on Keisuke Kaneko, Hirokazu Shiranita, Hideki Sunaga

Keisuke Kaneko was thinking about how he was going to prepare for the 2017 season when he found out the Softbank Hawks were going to let him go. He was caught off-guard by the news and was suddenly left with the decision of what to do next. He also had to think about the new baby girl that arrived in August. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November with hopes of finding new opportunities and went 1-for-5 with a strikeout. Shortly thereafter, he received a call from the Hawks asking if he was interested in taking a job with the team. He agreed and will begin in January.

The media learned on December 13 that Orix senryokugai Hirokazu Shiranita is planning to retire and take a regular job outside of baseball. He attended the twelve team tryouts last month but did not secure any offers. Shiranita was drafted by the Hanshin Tigers in 2007, made his first Ichi-gun appearance in 2011, and recorded his first victory in 2013. He was later traded to the Orix Buffaloes in 2014.

Hideki Sunaga was drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2003 and traded to the Yomiuri Giants in 2010. He returned to the Fighters in a trade in 2015 and was let go this year. He did not pitch in any Ichi-gun games this season because of neck pains caused by a cervical hernia that he developed while playing for the Giants (the pain surfaced once during spring camp and again during the summer). The Fighters offered him a job as batting practice pitcher and after about a week of thinking things over, he accepted the offer.

Source: Sponichi 12/13/2016Nikkan Sports 12/14/2016, Sponichi 12/14/2016


[12/11/2016] Updates on Shigeo Yanagida and Shinji Iwata

When Yokohama senryokugai Shigeo Yanagida was let go for the second time during his career, he knew it was time to retire. After graduating from high school, he decided to play in the Industrial League with Duplo. He had a hard time fitting in and quit when he was nineteen. He joined the Nomo Baseball Club in 2003 after spending a little over a year away from baseball. He was drafted by Chunichi in 2005 and then released in 2013. He got offers from a number of teams and picked Yokohama because they were the first to approach him. He was happy with his decision because for the first time during his career, he felt like he belonged. When the Bay Stars let him go this year, they offered him a job in the organization, which he accepted.

Shinji Iwata struggled with right shoulder problems the last few years. His shoulder felt better this year, but he still failed to make the active roster. When the Chunichi Dragons informed him in the September that he was not a part of the team’s plans in 2017, he decided to retire. He initially turned down Chunichi’s plans for a retirement game/ceremony, but was later convinced to have one. He is now working in the Dragons’ front office.

Source: Sponichi 12/10/2016, Sponichi 12/11/2016