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[9/30/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto holds press conference to announce retirement

by on Sep.30, 2015 @ 9:09 pm, under NPB

Masahiro Yamamoto held a press conference in Nagoya earlier today and once again announced that he was going to retire at the end of the season.

A few notes from various sources:

  • His decision has not yet fully sunken in, but he feels somewhat relieved because it was a big decision.
  • He met general manager Hiromitsu Ochiai in early September and was told to figure out what he wanted to do. He thought things through for about a month. He feels he made a good decision.
  • He has been asked about not being able to break the world record for oldest pitcher to win a game. The way he sees it, retirement would not be a question if the record was not hanging in the balance. He does not think he should continue pitching just to break the record.
  • He had a really hard time with his decision to retire. He knew the team had to undergo changes after three consecutive B-class finishes and did not want to get in the way of that, but he also wanted to win another game. He had the chance to do it this year, but failed. He knew he had to draw the line somewhere and decided this would be his last year.
  • He thinks his career really started when he spent some time in the Dodgers organization in 1988 and worked with Akihiro "Ike" Ikuhara.
  • There are times he feels satisfied with his career, and other times he wishes he could have kept going a little longer. There were a lot of things he wishes he could have done over his career, but he has no regrets because he feels he always tried his best.
  • He wishes he could have been in the dugout when the team won the Nippon Series in 2007.
  • He feels lucky because he was able to play baseball with the same kind of feelings he had from childhood until he turned fifty.
  • He thinks his best years may have been 1993 and 1994, based on how strong he felt and how well his body moved. In terms of skill, he feels he might be at his best right now.
  • He would like to take the mound one more time, even if it is to face just one batter.
  • "It feels like I just woke up from a long dream. It's a shame. Maybe I should go back to sleep. I don't know how many people have wanted to become a baseball player, but I was allowed to play for the longest. My career was like a miracle. I may have had the happiest career in baseball."
  • Memorable moment: the no-hitter he threw on September 16, 2006.
  • He is interested in coaching, but he feels he has a lot to learn outside of just knowing how to throw the ball.
  • He plans to work as a baseball commentator after he retires. He also wants to get back into RC racing.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 9/30/2015, Daily Sports 9/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2015, The Page 9/30/2015

See also: [9/26/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto to retire after the season

Yamamoto joined Ichi-gun practices at Nagoya Dome on September 30. He might get the chance to pitch in the two-game Hiroshima series that begins on October 1.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/30/2015

[UPDATE 10/8 @ 10:02am]

Yamamoto was added to the active roster on October 7. He started the last game of his career on the last day of the season. He took the mound against Hiroshima and faced one hitter: he got Yoshihiro Maru to ground out to second on three pitches. At fifty years and one month, he set a new NPB record for oldest player to appear in a game, pitch in a game, and start a game. Takahiro Arai and his wife presented him with flowers. He was tossed into the air seven times by teammates in the bullpen.

Source: Sanspo 10/8/2015, Sponichi 10/7/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/7/2015, Daily Sports 10/7/2015, Sports Hochi 10/7/2015

Career Stats

Year Team G GS CG ShO W L Sv H WPCT BF IP H HR BB IBB HBP SP WP BK R ER ERA WHIP
1986 Chunichi 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- ---- 5 0.2 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 27.00 4.50
1987 Chunichi 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- ---- 11 1.2 2 0 4 0 0 1 1 0 3 3 16.20 3.60
1988 Chunichi 8 6 2 2 5 0 0 -- 1.000 184 48.2 28 1 13 1 1 35 0 0 4 3 0.55 0.84
1989 Chunichi 35 26 5 2 9 9 1 -- .500 757 181.0 172 14 56 8 2 108 3 0 66 59 2.93 1.26
1990 Chunichi 26 24 6 1 10 7 0 -- .588 646 152.0 154 23 45 3 4 77 5 0 67 60 3.55 1.31
1991 Chunichi 33 22 2 0 6 8 1 -- .429 618 144.0 158 14 43 3 3 96 1 0 73 58 3.63 1.40
1992 Chunichi 30 25 5 2 13 10 0 -- .565 709 170.2 158 22 49 4 2 135 3 0 73 65 3.43 1.21
1993 Chunichi 27 24 10 5 17 5 0 -- .773 710 188.1 140 16 30 2 3 132 1 0 46 43 2.05 0.90
1994 Chunichi 29 29 14 2 19 8 0 -- .704 868 214.0 203 19 46 3 0 148 1 0 86 83 3.49 1.16
1995 Chunichi 12 10 3 1 2 5 0 -- .286 302 74.2 70 15 17 2 1 61 1 0 43 40 4.82 1.17
1996 Chunichi 26 23 6 2 7 9 1 -- .438 647 154.2 159 17 38 2 3 119 4 1 72 63 3.67 1.27
1997 Chunichi 29 28 4 1 18 7 1 -- .720 838 206.2 174 26 57 4 3 159 1 0 74 67 2.92 1.12
1998 Chunichi 28 28 5 3 9 9 0 -- .500 769 182.0 185 14 60 3 2 131 1 0 74 74 3.66 1.35
1999 Chunichi 25 25 1 0 8 5 0 -- .615 661 158.1 149 16 44 6 3 116 1 0 55 52 2.96 1.22
2000 Chunichi 28 21 5 2 11 9 0 -- .550 608 151.2 129 16 36 4 2 104 3 0 50 44 2.61 1.09
2001 Chunichi 28 26 2 2 10 13 0 -- .435 672 163.2 160 12 44 4 2 98 3 0 69 66 3.63 1.25
2002 Chunichi 21 13 1 0 7 6 0 -- .538 352 86.1 90 10 9 1 0 67 1 0 40 38 3.96 1.15
2003 Chunichi 26 26 0 0 9 7 0 -- .563 653 156.0 156 19 35 5 9 121 1 0 69 62 3.58 1.22
2004 Chunichi 27 24 1 1 13 6 0 -- .684 653 157.0 153 16 43 3 2 120 2 0 56 55 3.15 1.25
2005 Chunichi 22 21 0 0 7 8 0 0 .467 513 116.0 137 12 31 2 8 69 2 0 63 63 4.89 1.45
2006 Chunichi 27 26 3 2 11 7 1 0 .611 686 170.2 147 11 36 3 6 124 2 0 65 63 3.32 1.07
2007 Chunichi 19 18 1 1 2 10 0 0 .167 469 108.1 124 13 27 1 4 71 0 0 68 61 5.07 1.39
2008 Chunichi 23 22 2 0 11 7 0 0 .611 544 133.2 127 15 26 2 2 84 1 0 54 47 3.16 1.14
2009 Chunichi 6 6 0 0 1 4 0 0 .200 137 27.0 45 5 12 1 0 14 1 0 34 32 10.67 2.11
2010 Chunichi 8 8 1 1 5 1 0 0 .833 205 47.2 55 4 12 1 3 28 1 0 20 17 3.21 1.41
2012 Chunichi 13 12 0 0 3 2 0 0 .600 264 67.1 52 4 19 2 2 40 2 0 22 22 2.94 1.05
2013 Chunichi 16 16 0 0 5 2 0 0 .714 314 70.2 80 6 28 2 1 39 2 0 37 35 4.46 1.53
2014 Chunichi 3 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 .500 60 14.0 16 0 3 0 1 9 1 0 8 7 4.50 1.36
  579 512 79 30 219 165 5 0 .570 13855 3347.1 3225 341 864 72 69 2308 45 1 1393 1284 3.45 1.22

Awards/Titles:

  • Sawamura Award: 1994
  • Best Pitcher: 1994, 1997
  • MVP of the Month: April, July, August 1993, April, September 1994, July 1997, April 1999, August 2008
  • Best Nine: 1994, 1997
  • All-Star Game: 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2004
  • Most Wins: 1993, 1994, 1997
  • Best ERA: 1993
  • Most Strikeouts: 1997