Akihiro Yano (HAN) played in the Hanshin Tigers' final Ni-gun game of the season on Saturday. Yano entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning, with the score tied at 2 and a runner on first and one out, and helped set up the go ahead run with a single to left. In the 9th inning, he got to catch his good friend, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, for the last time in his career. In the end, the Tigers went on to beat the Chunichi Dragons, 3-2.
After the game, the Ni-gun Tigers held a mini retirement ceremony for the 41-year-old catcher. And both Ni-gun teams tossed Yano up into the air 5 times (Yano started his career with the Dragons).
The Hanshin Tigers also decided on Saturday that they will hold a retirement ceremony for Yano after their final game of the season at Koshien Stadium (9/30 vs Yokohama Bay Stars).