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[9/27/2013] Hiroshima Carp: Tomonori Maeda will retire at the end of the season

by on Sep.27, 2013 @ 3:47 pm, under NPB

Tomonori Maeda will be retiring at the end of the season.  He made his announcement during a press conference at Mazda Stadium earlier today.

"This year will be the end of a twenty-four year career in baseball.  This may not be the best way to put it, but I feel like it has finally come to a close.  I feel relieved now that I no longer have to deal things like pressure," Maeda said.

Maeda suffered a fracture in his left ulna when he was hit by a pitch during a game against Yakult at Jingu on April 23.  He had been rehabbing ever since, but over time felt his desire wane.  It was then that he decided to retire.

A retirement ceremony will take place on October 3 (vs Chunichi at Mazda).

Source: official announcementNikkan Sports 9/27/2013, Daily Sports 9/27/2013

UPDATE @ 9:07pm -

Nikkan Sports has posted portions of his interview:

What were you able to accomplish?

Baseball is all about results.  I began my making changes to my everyday life.  I have not had a great career, but I was ambitious.  I think I was able to hold my own.

You spent your entire career with Hiroshima.

The organization not only help me grow as a player, but also as an individual.  They have really been a large part of my life.

Any lasting memories?

A lot the happy memories have faded out, so I cannot think of any off the top of my head, except...  The pennant in my second year.  I got to play a lot up to the Nippon Series.  It was a great experience.

Any regrets?

We were able to end a long drought this year.  I wish I could have been a part of that.

Any memories about the uniform number one?

I did my best not to embarrass the players [that wore this number before me], but I was always hurt.  I do not think I did the uniform justice.  I do not see any players the number can be passed on to right now.  I would like the organization to give this number a little rest.

Anything you want to say to the fan?

Thank you for supporting such an injury-prone player.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/27/2013

Daily Sports has also posted portions of the press conference:

You have decided to retire.  How do you feel?

This may not be the best way to say this, but I feel like things have finally come to a close.  I also feel relieved now that I no longer have to worry about the pressures.

What was the biggest reason?

The reason...  I should have retired a long time ago, but each year, I spoke to the owner, going back five years we spoke and he would said things like, "Why not try helping the team by becoming a bat off the bench?  There must be a lot of things you can experience."  He encouraged me and, while it would be strange to say this, it made me extend my career each year.  I stretched it out as long as I could.  And that happened to be this year.

What about the timing of your decision?

I had to accept a lot of things after I got hurt.  I put together a plan for my recovery and when I was discharged from the hospital, I began my rehab.  I figured about two months for my bone to fully heal and [planned my schedule] by working things backward from there.  But things did not go smoothly.  And I started thinking that I might not make it.  That was maybe about a month ago.

What are your future plans?

I will take off the uniform and become an analyst and study baseball, more and more...  I would also like to continue improving myself, I would like to improve myself by study baseball.

Source: Daily Sports 9/27/2013

UPDATE @ 10:22pm -

Tickets to Maeda's retirement game/ceremony have sold out.

Source: Sanspo 9/27/2013