Atsuya Furuta held a press conference today to announce his retirement from baseball at the age of 42. He was having some problems with his shoulder this year and was limited to just 3 games as a player (he only played in 33 games last year and 96 games the year before due to various injuries). Things weren't much better for him as manager as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, currently 52-74 with 18 games remaining. Only the Hiroshima Toyo Carp have more losses with 75. His record last season, his first as a manager, was slightly better at 70-73-3.
Furuta was probably my favorite player in the NPB. He always played with a lot of energy and passion. He also played a key role during the negotiations that took place during the strike in 2004. Furuta will be missed.
Awards and Accomplishments
- MVP (1993, 1997)
- Batting Title (1991)
- Best Nine Award (1991 - 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 - 2001, 2004)
- Golden Glove Award (1990 - 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 - 2001, 2004)
- Championship Series MVP (1997, 2001)
- All Star (1990 - 2006)
- 1988 Seoul Olympics silver medalist
Carreer Stats (18 years)