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[1/9/2014] Nippon Ham Fighters: Tomohiro Nioka announces decision to retire

by on Jan.09, 2014 @ 7:49 pm, under NPB

Tomohiro Nioka held a press conference at Fighters Town Kamagaya today.

Quotes taken from various sources:

"I spent ten years with Kyojin and five years with Nippon Ham.  I was able to play for fulfilling fifteen years with support from many people.  I feel I have done everything I can."

"I was able to lead a fulfilling baseball career with support from a lot of people."

"The last few years, it was only about hitting.  Running, hitting, fielding, if I can not do all of it, then it means nothing [to me]."

"I have not made any decisions [about what to do next].  I would like to study more."

"I am interested in hitting.  I want to study more."

The Yomiuri Giants could reach out to Nioka about possible coaching opportunities in the future.  He could also be shipped off to the United States to gain some coaching experience in the minors.

Source: official announcementTokyo Sports 1/9/2014, Chunichi Sports 1/9/2014, Sports Hochi 1/9/2014, Sanspo 1/9/2014

[UPDATE 1/10 @ 4:20am]

Sponichi posted portions of Nioka's interaction with the media during his press conference:

What's going through your head right now?

I thought maybe I might want to play baseball more, but that did not really happen.  I no longer have to worry about my body when I wake up in the morning.

What was your reason for retiring?

I considered my performance from last season, but the last few years it was only about hitting, I did not play any defense and they sent in pinch-runners whenever I got a hit.  I started wondering if this was good enough for me.

You felt strongly about running, hitting, and fielding?

I had problems with the my legs, but it means nothing if there is no running, hitting, and fielding.  If I was going to play the game, I wanted to play it right.

What event during your career left the biggest mark on you?

My first trip to the plate after turning pro.  My first trip to the plate after joining a new team also left a lasting mark.  I had a hard time facing Hanshin's Shinobu Fukuhara because we had played baseball together when we were younger.  But I also wanted to do well against him.

Source: Sponichi 1/9/2014

Career Stats

Year Team G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI SB CS SH SF BB IBB HBP SO DP AVG OBP SLG OPS
1999 Yomiuri 126 462 418 49 121 14 0 18 189 51 8 2 6 3 33 0 2 92 7 .289 .342 .452 .794
2000 Yomiuri 119 335 298 35 79 10 0 10 119 32 9 5 9 1 23 2 4 57 5 .265 .325 .399 .724
2001 Yomiuri 86 265 240 35 56 9 1 5 82 23 10 4 10 0 13 0 2 44 1 .233 .278 .342 .620
2002 Yomiuri 112 444 398 64 112 21 1 24 207 67 3 2 16 1 27 0 2 79 7 .281 .329 .520 .850
2003 Yomiuri 140 624 573 88 172 18 1 29 279 67 14 8 14 3 31 2 3 92 12 .300 .338 .487 .825
2004 Yomiuri 91 360 327 27 88 10 0 9 125 49 0 0 1 1 25 2 6 72 7 .269 .331 .382 .714
2005 Yomiuri 139 593 539 64 162 25 0 16 235 58 3 0 5 3 37 1 9 79 13 .301 .354 .436 .790
2006 Yomiuri 146 598 551 67 159 26 0 25 260 79 0 1 6 5 30 1 6 113 15 .289 .329 .472 .801
2007 Yomiuri 139 562 508 68 150 22 0 20 232 83 1 2 10 3 34 2 7 91 15 .295 .346 .457 .803
2008 Yomiuri 31 98 86 7 24 3 0 1 30 7 0 2 1 1 9 0 1 24 0 .279 .351 .349 .699
2009 Nippon Ham 69 187 170 25 43 5 0 4 60 25 0 1 2 2 10 0 3 36 5 .253 .303 .353 .656
2010 Nippon Ham 103 355 328 26 86 15 0 7 122 47 0 0 5 3 18 0 1 59 8 .262 .300 .372 .672
2011 Nippon Ham 55 117 103 12 29 2 0 3 40 14 0 0 1 0 13 1 0 22 2 .282 .362 .388 .750
2012 Nippon Ham 65 94 85 4 30 1 0 2 37 14 0 0 0 1 7 1 1 13 3 .353 .404 .435 .840
2013 Nippon Ham 36 45 42 0 3 1 0 0 4 6 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 16 1 .071 .111 .095 .206
  1457 5139 4666 571 1314 182 3 173 2021 622 48 27 86 28 312 12 47 889 101 .282 .331 .433 .764