Shinichiro Koyama held a press conference at kobo Stadium on September 20 and announced that this was going to be his last year.
A few notes taken from various sources:
- He had right shoulder surgery in April but was not able to make it back to the active roster.
- He struggled with shoulder problems the last two years and spent a lot of time at Ni-gun.
- He wonders if things might have ended differently had he went under the knife a little earlier.
- After he got back to the point where he could throw the ball, he grew frustrated with himself because he could not throw the kind of pitches he wanted to.
- He decided to retire after the Eagles suggested it to him a few days earlier.
- He made the final decision after about a day.
- When he told his family, his daughter said she wanted to see him pitch more.
- He was trying to reach 500 games, but fell twenty short. He originally did not think twenty games was a lot because he was recording fifty-game seasons. Before the surgery, he might have pushed a little harder to hit the milestone, but that changed after he went under the knife.
- He was the only pitcher that remained from the "original" Rakuten team.
- A retirement ceremony will be held after a Lotte game at kobo Stadium on October 6.
- He would like to stay in the organization and help the team in some way.
- Most memorable moment: his first Ichi-gun appearance and the opportunity to win a Nippon Series with Senichi Hoshino. Hoshino was his manager when he made his first appearance.
[UPDATE 10/2 @ 4:36pm]
The Eagles are planning to offer Koyama as job as a Ni-gun pitching coach.
Source: Sports Hochi 10/2/2015
[UPDATE 10/7 @ 6:58am]
Koyama was added to the active roster on October 6 and pitched in the last game of his career. He entered the game in the 9th against Lotte gave up a ground rule double to the one batter he faced: pinch-hitter Takuya Takahama. He threw two pitches, both fastballs. Lotte pitching coach Eiji Ochiai, Motohiro Shima, Senichi Hoshino, and family (wife and two sons) presented him with flowers after the game. Teammates tossed him into the air five times.
[UPDATE 10/8 @ 8:47am]
Koyama is expected to return next season as a Ni-gun pitching coach.
Source: Sponichi 10/7/2015