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[9/21/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Motonobu Tanishige announces decision to retire as a player

by on Sep.22, 2015 @ 7:30 am, under NPB

Motonobu Tanishige held a press conference at Nagoya Dome on September 21 to announce that he was retiring as a player.

A few notes taken from various sources:

  • There are times he thinks "the time for retirement has come," and other times when he thinks "the time for retirement has already come?" He wishes he could play until he was sixty.
  • He knew this might be his last season while preparing for the season during the winter.
  • He made his final decision to retire in early September.
  • He struggled with injuries from the start of the season (left calf, right shoulder, lower back).
  • His biggest reason for retiring was his body not being able to take the grind any more and wearing down.
  • He never thought his career would last twenty-seven years when he first started playing professionally.
  • He was able to keep going because he wanted to win and was always trying to think of ways of keeping opponents down.
  • Over the years, he did feel that catching was hard on the body (although he could not be sure since he never played another position professionally), but never once thought about quitting.
  • He figures there is no one in Japan has caught as many pitches as he has. He thinks his bigger and thicker left hand is proof of that.
  • He is grateful to the Dragons for giving him the opportunity to be a player/manager.
  • He plans to pencil himself into the starting line-up for the last game at Nagoya Dome this season on September 24. His last official game will most likely come on September 26, when Chunichi plays Yokohama at Yokohama. Yokohama is where he started his career.
  • He is currently set to return as full-time manager of the Dragons next year.
  • He remembers the press conference when he was first introduced to the media. He remembers how happy his parents looked.
  • Memorable moment: winning a championship with Yokohama in 1998. Memorable moments with Chunichi include no-hitters by Kenshin Kawakami (August 1, 2002), Masahiro Yamamoto (September 16, 2006), and Daisuke Yamai (June 28, 2013); the combined no-hitter with Yamai and Hitoki Iwase (November 11, 2007); and his walk-off hit against Yakult at Nagoya Dome on September 24, 2011.

Source: official announcement, Tokyo Sports 9/21/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/21/2015, Sponichi 9/21/2015, Sports Hochi 9/21/2015, Sanspo 9/21/2015

[UPDATE 9/24 @ 11:37pm]

Tanishige played in his last game at Nagoya Dome on September 24. He made the starting line-up at catcher and batted eight. He went 1-for-1: 1B7 one RBI. He was replaced by a pinch-runner after his hit in the 2nd inning. Kosuke Fukudome and singer/songwriter Chiharu Matsuyama presented him with flowers. Teammates tossed him into the air five times after the game (he initially turned them down). Source: Daily Sports 9/24/2015, Sponichi 9/24/2015, Sponichi 9/24/2015

[UPDATE 9/27 @ 1:22am]

Tanishige played in the last game of his career on September 26. He made the starting line-up at catcher and batted eighth against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Yokohama Stadium. He grounded out to short in his one at bat and removed himself on defense in the 2nd. His three sons and Daisuke Miura presented him with flowers. Players from both teams tossed him into the air five times after the game. Source: Sponichi 9/26/2015

[UPDATE 9/27 @ 6:23pm]

Tanishige was taken off the active roster on September 27.

[UPDATE 10/2 @ 9:28pm]

The Hiroshima Carp held a mini retirement ceremony for Tanishige before their game at Mazda Stadium on October 2. Coach Takuro Ishii presented Tanishige with flowers.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/2/2015

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
1989 Taiyo 80 171 154 9 27 2 2 3 42 10 0 0 1 1 13 3 2 43 4 .175 .247 .273 .520
1990 Taiyo 75 182 154 8 27 7 0 3 43 16 2 0 8 1 17 3 2 36 4 .175 .264 .279 .544
1991 Taiyo 82 221 186 24 44 9 3 5 74 24 5 1 8 2 20 2 5 39 8 .237 .324 .398 .722
1992 Taiyo 74 186 162 16 31 9 0 2 46 9 0 0 4 0 18 5 2 34 2 .191 .280 .284 .564
1993 Yokohama 114 343 290 22 68 10 2 4 94 26 3 0 7 0 40 8 6 74 6 .234 .339 .324 .663
1994 Yokohama 129 415 359 29 82 19 2 5 120 36 0 1 8 1 42 5 5 94 8 .228 .317 .334 .651
1995 Yokohama 93 203 181 16 45 7 1 6 72 21 1 0 5 0 17 2 0 39 2 .249 .313 .398 .711
1996 Yokohama 127 456 380 36 114 25 3 8 169 54 2 3 14 3 53 7 6 70 10 .300 .391 .445 .836
1997 Yokohama 128 489 397 42 92 19 2 13 154 46 2 1 25 3 61 9 3 71 14 .232 .336 .388 .724
1998 Yokohama 134 538 461 50 117 23 1 14 184 55 1 2 6 4 62 7 5 83 13 .254 .346 .399 .745
1999 Yokohama 122 491 427 55 126 23 0 11 182 51 0 1 7 5 46 13 6 45 16 .295 .368 .426 .794
2000 Yokohama 122 493 446 35 112 21 0 9 160 44 0 0 3 1 41 6 2 91 20 .251 .316 .359 .675
2001 Yokohama 137 532 447 54 117 19 2 20 200 70 4 2 9 1 65 8 10 107 6 .262 .367 .447 .815
2002 Chunichi 130 515 446 53 96 21 0 24 189 78 4 0 10 2 49 8 8 116 8 .215 .303 .424 .727
2003 Chunichi 112 426 367 48 97 20 1 18 173 69 3 2 8 4 42 2 5 90 11 .264 .344 .471 .816
2004 Chunichi 121 472 408 47 106 11 0 18 171 68 1 0 11 6 42 7 5 92 10 .260 .332 .419 .751
2005 Chunichi 141 537 449 58 105 22 0 14 169 65 3 2 8 6 69 5 5 106 10 .234 .338 .376 .715
2006 Chunichi 141 520 428 48 100 22 1 9 151 38 0 0 13 3 71 16 5 102 12 .234 .347 .353 .700
2007 Chunichi 134 474 382 33 90 15 0 6 123 44 0 1 19 5 62 15 6 85 10 .236 .347 .322 .669
2008 Chunichi 113 384 329 27 77 18 0 2 101 27 0 1 9 1 39 4 6 45 9 .234 .325 .307 .632
2009 Chunichi 115 369 298 32 62 7 0 9 96 33 0 0 19 4 44 8 3 62 9 .208 .312 .322 .634
2010 Chunichi 110 367 308 23 75 15 0 7 111 32 0 1 11 1 42 4 5 81 5 .244 .343 .360 .703
2011 Chunichi 102 330 277 26 71 10 0 6 99 31 0 0 12 1 38 5 2 51 5 .256 .349 .357 .706
2012 Chunichi 134 458 386 15 88 14 0 5 117 32 0 1 14 2 52 3 4 67 15 .228 .324 .303 .627
2013 Chunichi 130 438 379 19 82 12 0 6 112 34 1 2 6 3 46 2 4 70 11 .216 .306 .296 .601
2014 Chunichi 91 274 226 15 44 11 0 1 58 23 0 1 5 2 39 1 2 36 8 .195 .316 .257 .573
  2991 10284 8727 840 2095 391 20 228 3210 1036 32 22 250 62 1130 160 114 1829 236 .240 .333 .368 .703

Awards/Titles

  • Best Nine: 1998
  • Golden Glove: 1998, 2006-2007, 2009, 2011, 2012
  • All-Star Games: 1993, 1997-2002, 2005, 2007, 2012-2014
  • Nippon Series Outstanding Player: 2004
  • Holds record for: most games as a catcher (2,922; as of 9/21), most games (3,019; as of 9/21), most consecutive seasons with at least one hit (twenty-seven, 1989-2015), most consecutive seasons with at least one home run (twenty-seven, 1989-2015)

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