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[9/21/2015] Seibu Lions: Hichori Morimoto announces retirement

by on Sep.22, 2015 @ 6:30 am, under NPB

Hichori Morimoto held a press conference at the Seibu Lions' offices in Tokorozawa, Saitama on September 21 to announce his decision to retire after the season.

A few notes taken from various sources:

  • He had a difficult childhood because of a hair loss disorder. Baseball turned his life around and gave him confidence. It is the most important thing in his life.
  • He thinks baseball is great sport because players are allowed to make a fair number of mistakes and fans still cheer.
  • Shinjo had a big influence on his career.
  • He started thinking now might be the time to retire after he struggled and failed to secure a spot on the active roster in August.
  • He was healthy this year and was trying his best, but still could not perform to his expectations.
  • He has lots of regrets, like not practicing more when he was younger, but is overall satisfied with how he was able to approach the game and have fun over the last few years.
  • He currently has no plans for what comes next.
  • Always the entertainer: he said that he wanted to bring eye drops to the press conference because he thought it might make for better photos if he cried, but he forgot the eye drops.
  • Memorable moments: winning a championship with Nippon Ham, winning an opening day game with Yokohama, hearing the cheering fans after he collected his first hit with Seibu.

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

[UPDATE 9/27 @ 11:03pm]

The Lions added Morimoto to the active roster on September 27. He was called into the Rakuten game as a defensive replacement in right in the top of the 8th inning. He grounded out to third with runners on first and second and two out in the bottom of the 8th. There was a retirement ceremony after the game. Naoto Watanabe, Kazuya Fujita, and former Nippon Ham teammate Atsunori Inaba presented him with flowers. He was tossed into the air by teammates ten times.

Source: Nikkan Spots 9/27/2015

[UPDATE 9/28 @ 5:40pm]

Morimoto was taken off the active roster on September 28.

The Pacific League's Youtube videos from the game:

Morimoto's last at bat.

Flowers and messages from current and past teammates.

Teammates tossing Morimoto into the air.

Seibu also posted a YouTube video of parts of his press conference:

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
2000 Nippon Ham 7 16 13 2 2 0 0 1 5 3 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 5 0 .154 .313 .385 .697
2001 Nippon Ham 65 148 133 16 33 4 2 1 44 9 11 2 3 1 9 0 2 35 2 .248 .303 .331 .634
2002 Nippon Ham 66 66 60 6 10 3 0 1 16 5 5 1 1 1 1 0 3 16 0 .167 .215 .267 .482
2003 Nippon Ham 61 151 133 21 26 2 1 4 42 16 3 2 3 0 14 0 1 48 2 .195 .277 .316 .593
2004 Nippon Ham 78 71 58 19 11 3 0 0 14 3 1 2 0 0 12 0 1 24 3 .190 .338 .241 .579
2005 Nippon Ham 103 325 295 48 78 10 3 7 115 25 9 2 5 1 22 1 2 82 3 .264 .319 .390 .709
2006 Nippon Ham 134 595 520 84 148 28 6 9 215 42 13 9 21 5 46 1 3 103 4 .285 .343 .413 .757
2007 Nippon Ham 144 660 584 91 175 27 3 3 217 44 31 3 17 6 47 1 6 111 6 .300 .355 .372 .726
2008 Nippon Ham 121 549 478 66 121 15 1 0 138 21 12 7 17 1 49 1 4 81 5 .253 .327 .289 .616
2009 Nippon Ham 107 404 316 50 78 14 4 1 103 29 9 2 43 0 43 0 2 52 2 .247 .341 .326 .667
2010 Nippon Ham 115 505 408 65 111 11 3 2 134 30 10 3 55 1 36 0 5 71 12 .272 .338 .328 .666
2011 Yokohama 48 153 134 13 25 3 1 1 33 9 0 1 9 1 8 0 1 42 4 .187 .236 .246 .482
2012 Yokohama 108 230 201 20 49 5 1 3 65 18 0 2 4 1 20 0 3 44 6 .244 .320 .323 .643
2013 Yokohama 4 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
2014 Seibu 99 173 147 19 37 8 3 0 51 13 2 2 9 0 16 0 1 42 0 .252 .329 .347 .676
  1260 4051 3485 521 904 133 28 33 1192 267 106 39 187 18 326 4 34 757 50 .259 .327 .342 .671

Awards/Titles

  • Best Nine: Outfield: 2007
  • Golden Glove: 2006-2008
  • Sapporo Dome MVP: 2006
  • All-Star Outstanding Player: Game 2 2006, Game 2 2007
  • All-Star Games: 2006-2008
  • Nippon Series Outstanding Player: 2006