It seems part of the reason why Nishi retired had to do with a right hamstring injury that had gotten worse. Said Nishi, "My right hamstring is in a lot of pain, I can't even lift my leg when I run. If I consider rehab, it would probably take me time to heal and I thought it would be best for the team if I left."
It seems Nishi will step away from baseball for a bit in order to do things he hasn't had time to do over the years. "I wasn't able to do much relaxing during the warmer months of the year," said Nishi. "I'd like to go somewhere with my family during the summer, maybe do some writing and watch other sports."
Nikkan Sports is also carrying a mini interview with Nishi. I've translated some of the more interesting parts of it below:
What are your thoughts on baseball after playing in the US.
I think Japan should let its players play on natural infield grass and I think it's also important to change the ball. If Japan continues to play with a ball that travels well, the players will never get better.
Do you have anything you'd like to say to NPB players?
For players that want to play in the US, but feel they don't have enough to make it to the Majors, I think playing [in the Independent Leagues] can be enough. The ball doesn't fly and the pitchers don't groove pitches. The team I played for has a contract with two MLB teams so they really strive for quality players.
Toshihisa Nishi announced on the 8th that he officially decided to end his career after attempting to get back into the game with the Lancaster Barnstormers.
Other notable information:
- Drafted in 1995 in the second round by the Yomiuri Giants
- Golden Glove - 4 (1999 - 2002)
- All-Star Game - 5 (1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007
- Lead-off homers to start a game: 24 (top of the inning - 9; bottom of the inning 15), good for 7th on the All-time list.
- Lead off homers to start a game, season: 7, good for a 7th place tie on the All-time list.
- First player to go a full season and steal 20 or more bases and not get caught once.
- Rookie of the Year (1986)
- Nippon Series MVP (2000)
- All-Star Game MVP (1998, second game)