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 9/29/2017