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[3/1/2014] Shikoku Island League plus looking to expand scouting presence in United States

by on Mar.01, 2014 @ 8:38 am, under Independent

According to a Kyodo News report, the Shikoku Island League plus has signed business partnerships with two as of yet unnamed club teams based out of Southern California.  The league is ultimately interested in operating a baseball team in the United States during the summer next year to help them find new talent.

Source: Sponichi 3/1/2014

[2/25/2014] BC League agrees to naming rights deal with Route Inn Group

by on Feb.26, 2014 @ 1:35 am, under Independent

The BC League announced on Tuesday that they sold naming rights to the league to official league partner Route Inn Group.  The league will officially be called Route Inn BC League.  The two sides agreed to a three-year term that begins on March 1.

Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 2/25/2014

And in catching up with other BC League news, a new team will be joining the league next year.  The new team will be named the Musashi Heat Bears and will be based out of Saitama.  Business operations began last month.  Logos and mascot characters have already be released.

Source: official announcement

[2/13/2014] Alex Ramirez signs with BC League’s Gunma Diamond Pegasus

by on Feb.13, 2014 @ 12:14 pm, under Independent

The BC League announced today that the Gunma Diamond Pegasus will hold a press conference on Friday to introduce Alex Ramirez (39).

Ramirez started his career in Japan with the Yakult Swallows in 2001.  He moved on to the Yomiuri Giants in 2008 and spent the last two seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars.  In thirteen NPB seasons, Ramirez accumulated 2,017 hits, 379 home runs, and 1,272 RBI.  He led the league in hits three times, home runs two times, and RBIs four times.  Concerns about his defense and his struggles at the plate limited him to just fifty-six games in 2013.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 2/14 @ 4:48pm]

Ramirez has been assigned the number three.  He signed on as a player/batting coach.  His monthly salary will be 400,000 yen.  He told reporters money was never an issue for him because he wanted to continue play.  He returned to Japan because he wants to end his career here.

Source: Sponichi 2/14/2014

[12/19/2013] The Baseball First League; 2014 Industrial League Tournaments

by on Dec.19, 2013 @ 8:34 pm, under Independent, Industrial

The Hyogo Blue Sandars and the 06 Bulls held a press conference in Osaka today to announce details for the Baseball First League.  At least three teams will be a part of the league.  New teams could be announced in January.  The inaugural season will consist of sixty-four games per team between April and October.  Similar to the Kansai Independent League, tickets will be sold to games and players will not be paid a salary.

Additional details about the league will be released in January.

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 12/19/2013, Kobe Shimbun 12/19/2013


The Japan Amateur Baseball Association released a list of major tournaments for the 2014 calendar year.  Of importance:

  • 85th Inter-City Tournament - twelve days beginning on July 18 at Tokyo Dome - thirty-four teams
  • 39th All Japan Club Team Tournament - four days beginning on September 5 at Seibu Dome - sixteen teams
  • 40th Industrial League Championship - eleven days beginning on November 1 at Kyocera Dome Osaka - thirty-four teams

Source: tournament list

[12/17/2013] Former Buffalo Yokoyama signs with Ehime; Gunma player arrested on assault charges

by on Dec.18, 2013 @ 1:07 am, under Independent
Tags: ,

The Shikoku Island League plus' Ehime Mandarin Pirates announced that they signed former Orix Buffalo Tetsuya Yokoyama (29).

Source: official announcememnt


Gunma Police arrested Hisanori Yamamoto (22) on Tuesday on suspicions of assault.  Yamamoto is a player in the Gunma Diamond Pegasus ( BC League) organization.

According to reports, Yamamoto called a twenty-year-old man out to a Pachinko parking lot on December 9 at around 11:00am and struck him in the face.  The man suffered minor injuries.

In speaking to the police, Yamamoto admitted to the charges and said the man's attitude upset him.  The events came to light after the man filed a report with police on the 16th.

Source: Sponichi 12/17/2013

[12/12/2013] The end of the Kansai Independent League (2009-2013)

by on Dec.12, 2013 @ 3:22 pm, under Independent

The Kansai Independent League will most likely fold.  Two of the three teams, the Hyogo Blue Sandars and 06 Bulls, have already submitted withdrawal notices from the league.  The remaining team, the Kishu Rangers, held a press conference today and told members of the media they were told the other two teams were withdrawing in November.  According league official Takeshi Kimura, a difference in opinion in league operations led to the departures.

The Hyogo Blue Sandars and 06 Bulls are planning to establish a new league with a third team.  The Kishu Rangers are switching gears and will attempt to to become an Industrial League team.

The Kansai Indepent League had problems with stability since its first year in 2009.  Ten different teams had been a part of the league over the years -- it began with three teams in 2009, expanded to five teams in 2011, and then contracted to three teams this year.  The Kishu Rangers were one of the four original teams (it should be noted that Kishu official/manager Takeshi Kimura, aka Takeshi Ishii, was also the league representative).

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/12/2013, Daily Sports 12/12/2013

[12/8/2013] BC League: Masao Kida will return to the Million Stars next season

by on Dec.08, 2013 @ 9:11 pm, under Independent
Tags: ,

Forty-six-year-old Masao Kida has decided to continue playing and will remain with the BC League's Ishikawa Million Stars next season.

Kida attended a tryout with Ishikawa after he was senrokyugai'ed by Nippon Ham after the 2012 season.  He passed the tryout and went on to pitch in fifty-two games this past season (3-1, 15 Sv, 51.0 IP, 37 H, 1 HR, 32 K, 2 BB, 12 R, 10 ER, 1.76 ERA).

Source: official announcement, personal blog 12/8/2013, Sponichi 12/8/2013

[UPDATE 12/9 @ 8:51pm]

Kida will be returning to Ishikawa as a player/general manager, effective January 1, 2014.

Source: official announcementSponichi 12/9/2013, personal blog 12/9/2013

[12/4/2013] BC League: Yuji Yoshioka to take over as manager of the Toyama Thunderbirds

by on Dec.04, 2013 @ 10:27 pm, under Independent
Tags: ,

The Toyama Thunderbirds Baseball Club (BC League) announced today that Yuji Yoshioka will take over as their new manager next season.

Yoshioka played for three different NPB teams over his career (Yomiuri, Kintetsu, and Rakuten).  He spent the last three years as a batting coach for the Ehime Mandarin Pirates in the Shikoku Island League plus.

Source: official announcement