Kentaro Sekimoto held a press conference at the team office in Nishinomiya, Hyogo earlier today to formally announce his decision to retire at the end of the year.
A few notes from various sources:
- He felt he had a pretty good career, considering his abilities.
- He started thinking this might be his last year after he got hurt for a second time this year.
- He got into baseball as a kid because he loved it. He did not want to stick around until he could not hit anymore and started to hate baseball. He wanted to quit on his own terms.
- There are a lot of things he wishes could have been, particularly winning a Nippon Series.
- He was confident when he first joined the team and thought he would easily make it. He remembers being surprised (and humbled) when it took him three years to make it to Ichi-gun.
- He feels he was able to have a long career because he learned how to adjust his expectations and goals.
- He did not particularly enjoy with responsibilities that came with being the team's top bat off the bench. There were times he wished the team would win before his turn came around.
- He was so focused on his at bats that he would not hear the cheers until after he stepped on first base on a hit.
- Memorable moment: striking out against Daisuke Miura in his first trip to the plate.
- A retirement ceremony will take place after a game against Hiroshima on October 4.
[UPDATE 10/5 @ 9:41am]
Sekimoto played in his last game on October 4. He entered the game against Hiroshima as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 8th and grounded out to the pitcher. He remained in the game as the third base man in the top of the 9th. The Tigers held a retirement ceremony for the veteran after the game. Takahiro Arai, Takashi Toritani, and his two sons presented him with flowers. Teammates tossed him into the air three times.