Category: Independent Leagues

[3/13/2019] Tsuyoshi Nishioka to join Tochigi Golden Braves

The BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves announced that they added thirty-four-year-old Tsuyoshi Nishioka to their roster. He was assigned the uniform number 1. A press conference is scheduled for March 18.

Source: Tochigi 3/12/2019, Sponiochi 3/12/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/12/2019, Sanspo 3/12/2019, Tokyo Sports 3/12/2019, Daily Sports 3/12/2019


[12/19/2018] Takayuki Terauchi to manage Tochigi Golden Braves

The Tochigi Golden Braves of the BC League announced that they hired Takayuki Terauchi to be their new manager. Terauchi spent twelve years in the Yomiuri organization before retiring at the end of the season this year.

Tochigi also announced to additions to their staff:

  • Yasushi Iihara – player/head coach
  • Yoshifumi Okada – outfield/base coach

Source: Tochigi 12/19/2018


[11/8/2018] Tomohiro Nioka to manage BCL Toyama

Tomohiro Nioka is set to manager the BC League’s Toyama Thunderbirds next season. Toyama announced earlier today that they reached an agreement with the forty-two-year-old. They released the following statement from Nioka:

I wanted to work with the players that were striving to become better after discovering how the BC League was improving every year. I will be happy if I can help players grow, even a little, with the experience I gained as a player and coach. I am also looking forward to becoming a part of the Toyama community.

As manager, I hope to both help myself and the players grow throughout the course of a season.

Source: Toyama 11/8/2018


[8/1/2018] Shuichi Murata not “officially” retiring, just yet

Thirty-seven-year-old Shuichi Murata is planning to retire after the 2018 season. He is expected to make a statement during a press conference on August 1.

Murata was released by the Yomiuri Giants after the 2017 season. He signed with the BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves with hopes of a possible return to the NPB this year. However, the trade deadline ended on July 31 with no offers.

In forty-two games with Tochigi so far this year (through July 31), Murata is 51-for-145 (.352 batting average) with nine home runs and forty-four RBI.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/31/2018, Daily Sports 8/1/2018, Sanspo 8/1/2018, Sponichi 8/1/2018

[UPDATE 8/1 @ 2:07pm]

Murata held a press conference at a hotel in Tochigi earlier today to talk about his thoughts after the trade deadline.

  • In Murata’s mind, if he was going to return to the NPB, it would have happened before the July 31 trade deadline.
  • Murata plans to play until the last game of Tochigi’s season (September 9).
  • Unless something changes, Murata is not thinking about waiting for a return to the NPB in 2019. He also finds it difficult to think about playing baseball somewhere else.
  • Murata does not regret his decision to play for Tochigi this season.
  • Murata was not really trying to make a case for his return to the NPB by continuing to play baseball this year. His goal was to become the kind of player kids want to watch and emulate.
  • Murata is not retiring. He wants to avoid using the word right now because he is still an active player for Tochigi.

Source: Sponichi 8/1/2018, Sponichi 8/1/2018, Daily Sports 8/1/2018, Daily Sports 8/1/2018, Daily Sports 8/1/2018, Daily Sports 8/1/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/1/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/1/2018

[UPDATE 9/10 @ 3:10pm]

Murata got the start a third and batted clean-up during his retirement game on September 9. He went 1-for-5 (Fo2, F9, Ks, 1B8, G3) at the plate. Over 6,000 fans were in attendance. During a post-game ceremony, he told fans that he was retiring.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/9/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/9/2018, Sponichi 9/9/2018, Tokyo Sports 9/9/2018, Sanspo 9/9/2018


[7/26/2018] BC League to expand to eleven teams in 2019

The BC League announced that they formally approved Ibaraki as an official member during a representatives meeting on July 24. The new team will be called the Ibaraki Astro Planets and will join the league in 2019. Other details will be released at a later date.

The BC League is also considering the addition of associate member Shizuoka for the 2019 season. They are planning to make a decision before the end of August.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2018, BC League 7/24/2018, BC League 7/26/2018

[UPDATE 8/29 @ 4:11pm]

The BC League decided to hold off on making Shizuoka an official member and will operate with eleven teams next year.

Source: Sanspo 8/28/2018


[6/12/2018] Fumiya Kambe assigned to Fukui

The Orix Buffaloes announced on June 11 that they assigned Ikusei pitcher Fumiya Kambe to the Fukui Miracle Elephants (BC League). Kambe will play for Fukui until the end of the season.

Source: Orix 6/11/2018


[4/25/2018] Shizuoka Kenmin Kyudan becomes an associate member of the BC League

The BC League announced on April 24 that the Shizuoka Kenmin Kyudan was accepted as an associate member. If everything goes smoothly, the organization could apply for full membership in June with an approval some time in August.

The BC League is currently made up of ten teams. There is one other associate member (Ibaraki Astro Planets). The league is ultimately hoping to field twelve teams in all.

Source: BC League 4/25/2018, Shizuoka Kenmin Kyudan, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2018


[3/4/2018] Shuichi Murata to sign with Tochigi Golden Braves

The media learned today that thirty-seven-year-old Shuichi Murata reached an agreement with the BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves. An official announcement will be made on March 5. A press conference is scheduled for March 9.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2018, Sponichi 3/4/2018, Sports Hochi 3/4/2018

[UPDATE 3/5 @ 9:47pm]

Tochigi announced today that they added Murata to their team. He was assigned the uniform number 25.

Source: Tochigi 3/5/2018

See also:


[1/9/2018] Masaru Takeda named new Ishikawa manager

The Ishikawa Million Stars announced on January 9 that they hire former Nippon Ham pitcher Masaru Takeda as their new manager. He was assigned the uniform number 38.

Takeda first joined the Ishikawa organization in 2017 as a vice president/coach.

Source: Ishikawa 1/9/2018, Sponichi 1/9/2018, Daily Sports 1/9/2018


[11/27/2017] Hyogo Blue Sandars part ways with Kei Igawa

The Hyogo Blue Sandars (Baseball First League) announced today that they were parting ways with thirty-eight-year-old Kei Igawa. Hyogo released the following statement from Igawa:

I joined the Hyogo Blue Sandars this year. I sweated it out with the other young players and as a result of my hard work, I put together a solid season I could be happy about.

Even at my age, the fact that I was able to help the team win gave me confidence. I am truly grateful for all the support the team representative, manager, coaches, players, and others involved provided this past year.

I am not thinking about retiring. I plan to keep playing, but I also want a little rest. I will no longer be a part of the Hyogo Blue Sandars after November 30, but I still hope to be involved with the team in some shape or form. I look forward to your continued support.

Soruce: Hyogo 11/27/2017