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[10/25/2013] 2013 Golden Spirit Award Nominees

by on Oct.25, 2013 @ 11:08 am, under NPB

Nominees for the 2013 Golden Spirit Award were released on the 23rd.  The winner will be announced on November 6.

Central League

Tetsuya Utsumi (Yomiuri) - Established the Tetsuya Utsumi Randoseru (Backpack) Fund in January 2009.  Donates one radoseru for every strikeout he records.  Sent 157 to forty-seven institutions in 2008, 115 to thirty-four in 2009, 121 in 2010, 144 in 2011, and 121 in 2012.  Has given away 665 randoserus over the last five years.

Shuichi Murata (Yomiuri) - Has been donating money to a fun that supports families with newborns that require medical care since 2008.  Started a new fun last year where he donates 10,000 yen for each RBI he records.

Toshiya Sugiuchi (Yomiuri) - Started a fund in 2005 where he puts money towards various things like wheelchairs and AED equipment based on the number victories or pitches he throws in a given season.  Last year he started put 1,000 yen into his fund for every pitch he threw.  As of October 23, he has put 2,613,000 yen (2,613 pitches) into his fund.

Hirokazu Ibata (Chuinchi) - Has been visiting children at hospitals and care facilities in Nagoya for many years.  Invited a number of players with him when he visited the Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daiichi Hospital in January.  Established a youth baseball tournament in his hometown Kawasaki in 2008.  Donated one million yen to his hometown in March (to go towards helping children in need).

Shinya Miyamoto (Yakult) - Started donating 10,000 yen per hit to the Japan Guide Dog Association in 2008.  Donated 1.3 million yen in 2008, 1.38 million in 2009, 1.29 million in 2010, 1.43 million in 2011, 950K in 2012, and 630K in 2013 (about seven million in total).

Tomonori Maeda (Hiroshima) - Invited two people from the Hiroshima Welfare Center for People with Disabilities to every home game between 2006 and 2013.

Minoru Iwata (Hanshin) - Was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was in high school and has been actively involved in supporting people with diabetes.  Since 2009, has donated 100,000 yen for every victory he records to the Type 1 Diabetes Research Foundation.  Donated 2.4 million yen through last year.  Has invited over 200 people with diabetes (and their families) to games since 2008.

Tatsuhiko Kinjo (Yokohama) - Has been sending wheelchairs to various institutions through the Yokohama City Council of Social Welfare every year since 2008.  In 2008 he donated nine wheelchairs after hitting nine home runs.  Donated eight wheelchairs in 2009 (one wheelchair for every ten hits).  Started donating ten wheelchairs every year since 2010.  Has donated forty-seven wheelchairs over the last five years.

Pacific League

Atsunori Inaba (Nippon Ham) - Began the Inaba Jump Project in 2009.  Put 10,000 yen for every hit he recorded toward children's emergency medical kits.  Reached 5.56 million yen over four years.  Has also been donating relay batons to elementary school in Hokkaido through Ai Project.

Takumi Kuriyama (Seibu) - Experienced the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.  Has been providing support to Tohoku Earthquake survivors through the Just Giving Japan website.  Donated money based on the number of teams wins in 2011 and 2012 and the number of hits in 2013.  Has donated, with help from 371 fans, 2,273,600 yen.

Andruw Jones and Casey McGehee (Rakuten) - Promised to donate money to Tohoku after visiting Yuriage Junior High School in Natori, Miyagi.  As part of Rakuten's Ganbaro Tohoku project, the two decided to donate 50,000 yen for every home run they hit this year.

Toshiaki Imae (Lotte) - Started working with the Gunma Atoms (a baseball team made up of players with disabilities) since 2006.  Has been visiting various children's facilities in Chiba since 2008.  Began donating 10,000 yen for each RBI he collects to the Millefeuille Childhood Cancer Frontiers in 2010.  Has donated a total 1.75 million over the last three seasons.

Yuki Nishi (Orix) - Began donating one polio vaccine for every pitch he throws through the Japan Committee Vaccines for the World's Children organization in 2011.  Has donated about 200,000 yen over the last three years.

No Softbank players.

The Golden Spirit Award is the equivalent to the MLB's Roberto Clemente Award.

Selection Committee: Ryozo Kato (NPB Commissioner), Shigeo Nagashima (former Yomiuri Giant), Kazuo Sayama (writer), Ritsuko Nagao (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), Masaaki Hirao (singer/songwriter), Tadashi Hayakawa (Sports Hochi).

Source: Sports Hochi 10/24/2013