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[5/25/2015] BC League: Tuffy Rhodes coming back to Japan

by on May.25, 2015 @ 3:46 pm, under Independent
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The BC League's Toyama GRN Thunderbirds announced today that they signed forty-six-year-old Tuffy Rhodes to player/coach contract. Rhodes' registered number will be Rhodes and he was assigned the uniform number 16. A press conference is scheduled for June 3. Additional details will be released at a later date.

Toyama posted the following comment from Rhodes (translation take from the official site):

I’m happy to be back with Japan with [Yuji] Yoshioka and the Toyama team. It’s been 6 long year. Nippon yukuzo!! Yosha!!

[2/10/2015] Route Inn BC League Home Opener Schedule

by on Feb.10, 2015 @ 6:10 pm, under Independent
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2015 Route Inn BC League home opener schedule

April 11 (Saturday)

  • Niigata Albirex BC vs Fukushima Hopes at Kaiseizan Stadium - 13:00
  • Musashi Heat Bears vs Gunma Diamond Pegasus at Jomo Shimbun Shikishima Stadium - 13:00
  • Nippon Ham Ni-gun vs Shinano Granderows at Matsumoto Stadium - 13:00
  • Hanshin Ni-gun vs Toyama Thunderbirds at Alpen Stadium - 13:00
  • Fukui Miracle Elephants vs Ishikawa Million Stars at Kanazawa Stadium - 13:00

April 12 (Sunday)

  • Fukushima Hopes vs Niigata Albirex BC at Hard Off Eco Stadium - 13:00
  • Hanshin Ni-gun vs Fukui Miracle Elephants at Fukui Phoenix Stadium - 12:00

April 18 (Saturday)

  • Fukushima Hopes vs Musashi Heat Bears at Kumagaya Sakura Sports Park Stadium - 13:00

Note: the eight teams in the Route Inn BC League will play some games against NPB Ni-gun teams during the 2015 season. These games will be considered official, as such, wins, losses, and team and individual player stats will be included in the season totals.

Source: official announcement

[2/8/2015] BC League: Julio Franco to manage Ishikawa Million Stars

by on Feb.08, 2015 @ 7:04 pm, under Independent
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The Ishikawa Million Stars announced today that they added fifty-six-year-old Julio Franco to their team as a player/manager for the 2015 season. They also announced that they added Masato Kobayashi as a head coach. A press conference will be held on the 10th. Franco will not be in attendance.

Source: official announcement

[10/14/2014] Gunma Diamond Pegasus: Alex Ramirez announces decision to retire

by on Oct.14, 2014 @ 10:32 pm, under Independent
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The Gunma Diamond Pegasus posted a message from Alex Ramirez addressing fans about his decision to retire after playing ten years in the United States and fourteen in Japan. If I have the time, I'll try to translate his message. For those that can read Japanese: アレックス・ラミレス選手からのメッセージ (link to the Gunma website).

[10/1/2014] 2014 Japan Independent League Grand Championship – Tokushima wins championship

by on Oct.02, 2014 @ 6:14 am, under Independent
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Japan Independent League Grand Championship

Date Time Venue Home Score Away Attendance Official
10/04 18:00 JA Bank Tokushima Stadium Tokushima (Island League) 3-1 Gunma (BC League) 976 BCL, IL
10/05 18:00 JA Bank Tokushima Stadium Tokushima (Island League) 8-8 Gunma (BC League) 525 BCL, IL
10/06 18:00 JA Bank Tokushima Stadium Rain Date
10/07 18:00 JA Bank Tokushima Stadium Rain Date
10/11 18:00 Maebashi Baseball Stadium Gunma (BC League) 12-5 Tokushima (Island League) 1,250 BCL, IL
10/12 18:00 Maebashi Baseball Stadium Gunma (BC League) 2-5 Tokushima (Island League) 1,007 BCL, IL
10/13 13:00
or 18:00
Maebashi Baseball Stadium Gunma (BC League) 3-6 Tokushima (Island League) 472 BCL, IL
10/14 18:00 Maebashi Baseball Stadium Rain Date
10/15 18:00 Maebashi Baseball Stadium Rain Date
10/16 18:00 Maebashi Baseball Stadium Rain Date

[9/10/2014] Various baseball headlines from the last few days

by on Sep.11, 2014 @ 3:57 am, under Independent, Industrial, NPB, Other
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Route Inn BC League News

  • Shinano Granserows' manager Akinori Otsuka is expected to face one hitter during the final game of the season on the 15th. He has not pitched since July 1, 2007. Source: Sponichi 9/10/2014
  • Talento Sanma Akashiya is slated to be a coach for one day with the Ishikawa Million Stars on the 13th. Akashiya and Ishikawa general manager/player Masao Kida have known each other for about twenty years. Akashiya was originally planning to watch the game from the stands, but Kida suggested the one-day contract to make things a little more interesting. Source: official announcement, Hokkoku Shimbun 9/7/2014, Daily Sports 9/8/2014
  • The Niigata Albirex Baseball Club clinched first place in the Second-Half Joshinetsu Division on the 7th with a 5-2 victory over the Gunma Diamond Pegasus. Niigata will play Niigata in the Joshinetsu Championship. Source: official announcementSanspo 9/7/2014

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The Ibaraki Golden Golds won the All Japan Club Team Tournament by defeating the Matsuyama Phoenix in the finals game on the 8th, 8-7.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/8/2014

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The Over Forty Baseball League's (rubber baseball) fall season began on the 6th.

Source: Sponichi 9/7/2014

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The NPB's first Ball Wall was donated to Seinan Elementary School.  A ceremony was held on the 8th. Yakult Swallows' players' group chairman Ryosuke Morioka and Shingo Kawabata attended the ceremony as presenters. They taught 267 students how to use the Base Wall.

Source: Sponichi 9/8/2014

[9/1/2014] BC League, Island League announced IPBL Japan

by on Sep.02, 2014 @ 2:20 am, under Independent
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The Route Inn Baseball Challenge League and the Shikoku Island League plus held a press conference on Monday to announce the establishment of The Japan Association of Independent Professional Baseball League (IPBL Japan).  IPBL Japan will be the official contact for independent leagues in Japan.

Chairman: Makoto Kagiyama (Shikoku Island League plus CEO)
Vice Chairman: Tetsuji Murayama (Route Inn Baseball Challenge League Representative)
Executive Director: Yasuomi Iijima (Shinano Grandserows Executive Vice President)
Managing Director: Takanori Kozaki (Shikoku Island League plus Director/Kagawa Olive Guyners Acting Owner)

Source: BC League announcement, Island League announcement