Itoi told a reporter that he tried to skip practices often when he was a student. In college, he tried to skip practices to play Pachinko by saying he was going to get physical therapy. He spent the most amount of time practicing when he converted over from pitcher to position player in 2006.
When Itoi was in elementary school, he enjoyed soccer. He wanted to become a soccer player up until the time his father forced him to join a baseball team when he was in middle school.
Source: Tokyo Sports 4/12/2017
June 2, 2017 vs Nippon Ham at Koshien Stadium – Itoi became the Hanshin Tigers’ ninety-ninth designated hitter in franchise history.
Source: Nikkan Sports 6/2/2017
June 18, 2017 vs Rakuten at Koshien Stadium – Itoi recorded a hit as a pinch-hitter for the first time in his career.
Source: Sponichi 6/19/2017
August 30, 2017 vs Yakult at Koshien Stadium – Itoi recorded the first walk-off home run of his career. He still has not recorded a grand slam or a pinch-hit home run. He and Tommy Cruz (120 home runs) were the only hitters with over 100 home runs not to have a walk-off, bases loaded, or pinch-hit home run during their careers.
Itoi is also the third player to join the Tigers via free agency and hit a walk-off home run in their first year with the team. The other two: Atsushi Kataoka on September 22, 2002 against Hiroshima and Takahiro Arai on April 30, 2008 against Yakult.