Michihiro Ogasawara held a press confernce in Nagoya today and announced his decision to retire after the season.
A few notes taken from various sources:
- His passion for the game will never go away.
- His decided to retire because he started noticing gaps between how he perceived himself as a player and how things really were. Retirement has been in the back of his mind the last few years.
- He had a feeling that this might be his last year when he signed with Chunichi as a free agent. He felt if he was ever sent down to Ni-gun, for whatever reason, it might be time to retire. He thought about retiring when he was taken off the active roster in July after getting hurt.
- He hurt his left hamstring in July.
- He never felt like he reached his limit while playing, but did notice changes in his body, like not be able to run as well. He also felt like he could no longer push himself quite as hard when injured.
- He made the decision to retire on his own. He told his family once his mind was made up. They were supportive, but may have also wanted to see him play some more.
- He told the manager of his decision to retire and dropped hints to teammates. He plans to talk to his teammates on September 18.
- He feels his ten years with the Fighters was about learning and developing as a player. His seven years with the Giants were about showing what he learned and how he developed. His two years with the Dragons was about doing things he wanted to do.
- There is no one stat he takes pride in. He does take pride in the cheers he received, right up until the end.
- Most memorable moment: he could not pick one specific event because everything that happened during his career helped him become the player he is. However, he does remember his first home run (July 7, 1998).
[UPDATE 9/21 @ 6:44pm]
The Dragons held a retirement ceremony for Ogasawara during their Yomiuri game on September 21. He got the start at first, batted fifth, and went 1-for-3 (Ks, 1B6, F7). His two daughters and Yoshinobu Takahashi presented him with flowers after his last at bat in the 7th inning. After the game, players from both teams tossed him into the air five times.
[UPDATE 9/22 @ 6:30pm]
Ogasawara was taken off the active roster on September 22.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 5:41pm]
The Dragons announced on October 3 that they added Ogasawara to their staff as Ni-gun manager.
Source: official announcement
- MVP: 2006, 2007
- Best Nine: First Base: 1999, 2001, 2006; Third Base: 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009
- Golden Glove: First Base: 1999-2002, 2006; Third Base: 2003
- MVP of the Month: August 2000, August 2001, April 2002, May 2003, July 2004, September 2008, May 2009, March/April 2010
- Tokyo Dome MVP: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008
- Golden Spirit: 2009
- All-Star Games: 1999-2007, 2009, 2010
- Leading Hitter: 2002, 2003
- Most Home Runs: 2006
- Most RBI: 2006
- Most Hits: 2000, 2001
- National Teams: 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, World Baseball Classic 2006 and 2009