Some notes from June 25:
- The Hiroshima Carp and Orix Buffaloes lead their respective leagues with the most number of fan-selected players: Hiroshima three players (Kenta Maeda, Yoshihiro Maru, and Jun Hirose) and Orix four players (Yoshihisa Hirano, Hikaru Ito, Dae-Ho Lee, and Yoshio Itoi). The last time the Carp led the CL was when five players (Kan Otake, Yoshiyuki Ishihara, Kenta Kurihara, Akihiro Higashide, and Masato Akamatsu) were made it in 2009. The last time the Buffaloes led the PL was when they were tied for most in 2000 with two selections (Koichi Oshima and Ichiro Suzuki). Source: Sponichi 6/25/2013
- Itoi is planning to contact former Nippon Ham teammate Hichori Morimoto for advice on what he can do to entertain fans during the All-Star games. He led all players this year with 439,518 fan votes. Source: Sponichi 6/25/2013
- At forty-two years and eight months, Shinya Miyamoto tied Takeshi Yamasaki (2011) for third on the NPB's all-time list (first on the CL's all-time list) for oldest player to make the All-Star roster through fan votes. Source: Sanspo 6/25/2013
- At thirty-eight years and eight months, Hitoki Iwase set a new NPB record for oldest closer to be selected by the fans. Kazuhiro Sasaki set the previous record in 2004 at thirty-six years and five months. The oldest pitcher overall (starter, middle relief, closer) to be selected by fans was Ken Takahashi at thirty-nine years and three months in 2008. Source: Sponichi 6/25/2013
- Masahiro Tanaka will most likely end up starting Game 1 at Sapporo Dome (fan-selected starters usually start the first game). Source: Sponichi 6/25/2013
- Shohei Otani is the fifth player drafted out of high school in NPB history to make the All-Star roster through fan votes in his first year. The other four: Kihachi Enomoto (1955), Kohei Shimamoto (1971), Kazuhiro Kiyohara (1986), Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (1988). Of the five, Otani is the only player to make it as an outfielder and just the second player after Shimamoto to make it without reaching the necessary number of at bats to qualify for a hitting title. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/25/2013 ... He could make an appearance as a position player in Game 1 and as a pitcher in Game 3. Source: Sponichi 6/25/2013 ... Ichiro is the only player in NPB history to pitch and take the field in the same game -- 1996, Game 2: started in right then entered the game as a reliever in the 9th with two outs to face Hideki Matsui, but ended up facing Shingo Takatsu (G6). Source: Nikkan Sports 6/25/2013
Sanspo is carrying a portion of an interview 1st round draft pick Shohei Otani conducted with the media on Monday.
Which pitcher would you like to face?
Everyone is great. I want to learn a lot. I just want to do my best for each and every play.
You might be able to face Shintaro Fujinami again if he gets selected by the manager.
I will be happy if I can swing the bat hard and play hard.
What kind of things do you want to learn at the All-Star games.
I want to study other players, not just when I am on the field. I want to watch and soak it all in. And then perhaps ask questions if I have some.
Are there any things you remember from past All-Star games?
I remember [Kyuji] Fujikawa. He had a lot of good match-ups against top players.
The third game of the All-Star Series on July 22 will open in Iwaki, Fukushima's Iwaki Green Stadium.
I have never been to Iwaki. It would be nice if we can provide as much entertainment to as many people as possible.
Source: Sanspo 6/25/2013