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.
Source: Sanspo 9/15/2017, Daily Sports 9/15/2017, Sponichi 9/15/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/15/2017
[UPDATE 9/15 @ 9:30pm]
The Tigers held a press conference for Ando at a hotel in Nishinomiya today.
- He blamed a weaker body for his decision to retire. He felt especially tired this season and had moments where he could not throw the ball. Age was another factor. He felt he was reaching his body’s outer limits. There was also the reality that he was unable to pitch in a single Ichi-gun game this year.
- The thought of retirement entered his head in August. He really started thinking about retirement in September. He made the decision to retire on September 12 and informed the Tigers.
- The Tigers were the first to know of his decision. He told Tomoaki Kanemoto over the phone on the evening of September 12. He then started telling his teammates, one-by-one.
- He spoke to his family and parents while trying to figure out what he wanted to do. They apparently were not too surprised when they heard he was thinking about retirement.
- He felt his time at Ni-gun this year was very important because it allowed him to work with younger players, which in turn made his think about his own approach to baseball.
- When he first turned pro, he never thought he would get to pitch for so long.
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 10/11/2017