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[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

[8/29/2014] Island League, BC League to establish Japan Independent Baseball League Organization

by on Aug.30, 2014 @ 1:00 am, under Independent
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The Shikoku Island League plus and the Route Inn Baseball Challenge League will jointly establish the Japan Independent Baseball League Organization (一般社団法人日本独立リーグ野球機構).  Shikoku Island League plus CEO Makoto Kagiyama will be named president of the new organization.  A press conference is scheduled for September 1 in Tokyo.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/30/2014

[8/9/2014] BC League, Shikoku Island League plus to hold tryouts in the United States

by on Aug.10, 2014 @ 2:23 am, under Independent
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The BC League and the Shikoku Island League plus announced on Friday that they will be holding tryouts in the United States later this year in the fall.  This will be the third year the independent leagues in Japan have held tryouts in the US.

The tryouts will take place in two locations: San Diego, California over a three-day period beginning on October 31 and Fort Myers, Florida over a two-day period beginning on November 5.

Source: Sponichi 8/9/2014

[7/29/2014] Route Inn BC League will continue to work with two divisions

by on Jul.29, 2014 @ 10:13 pm, under Independent
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The Route Inn BC League announced today that they will continue to work with two divisions next season.  Names for the divisions have not yet been decided.  Additional information will be released some time during or after August.

This season:

Joshinetsu

  • Gunma Diamond Pegasus
  • Niigata Albirex Baseball Club
  • Shnano Grandserows

Hokuriku

  • Toyama Thunderbirds
  • Ishikawa Million Stars
  • Fukui Miracle Elephants

Next season:

Division 1

  • Gunma Diamond Pegasus
  • Niigata Albirex Baseball Club
  • Saitama Musashi Heat Bears
  • Fukushima Hopes

Division 2

  • Shinano Grandserows
  • Toyama Thunderbirds
  • Ishikawa Million Stars
  • Fukui Miracle Elephants

Source: official announcement

[7/23/2014] BC League: Akinori Otsuka suspended for slapping three players

by on Jul.24, 2014 @ 12:51 am, under Independent
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The Shinano Grandserows Baseball Club of the BC League announced on Wednesday that player/manager Akinori Otsuka was suspended from all team activities, effective July 23.  According to a press release posted by the Grandserows, Otsuka went over the line with his coaching duties after a game against the Niigata Albirex Baseball Club on July 21.  The incident has been reported to the BC League.  A disciplinary hearing will be held on the 26th.

The Grandserows posted the following statement from Otsuka:

I went over the line with my duties as coach.  This kind of incident is unworthy of a coach and is something that should not be forgiven.  I regret from the bottom of my heart that it happened in front of children during a memorial game for Mikito Mizushima and his mother.

I would like to offer my deepest and sincerest apologies to all the fans and to the supporters of the league for breaking the BC League's Charter, which lists the league as being for the region and for the region's children.  I am very sorry.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 7/24 @ 10:01pm]

The BC League provided an update on what happened on the 21st: Otsuka slapped three players during a post-game meeting that was held in front of the dugout.  None of the players were hurt.  All three attended practices the following day.

A concerned fan contacted the league offices on the 22nd.  An internal investigation confirmed the incident.  The league will hold a disciplinary hearing on the 26th.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 7/27 @ 2:19am]

The BC League announced that Otsuka will be suspended for seven days (July 23-29) and fined 50,000 yen for his actions.  He will also have to participate in seven or more community service activities (outside of what the organization already does) and provide reports of his experiences.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 8/3 @ 12:51am]

Otsuka returned to the field for Friday's home game against the Gunma Diamond Pegasus.  He addressed the crowd before the game and apologized for his actions.

Source: Sponichi 8/2/2014

[7/18/2014] New BC League team from Fukushima will be named the Fukushima Hopes

by on Jul.18, 2014 @ 3:41 pm, under Independent
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The new team being established in Fukushima for the BC League in 2015 will be named the Fukushima Hopes.

The team organizers selected Hope as the team name because they wanted to become a beacon of light for kids that were affected by the Tohoku Earthquake.  The group also unveiled the team logo and mascot.  They are planning to field name suggestions for their mascot from elementary and junior high school kids in the prefecture.

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Source: Sponichi 7/18/2014, images taken from BC League press release

[6/28/2014] Gunma clinches BCL’s Joshinetsu, Tokushima clinches first-half Island League

by on Jun.29, 2014 @ 1:43 am, under Independent
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The BC League's Gunma Diamond Pegasus clinched first place in the Joshinetsu Division on Saturday with a 21-11-3 record.

Source: official announcement

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The Tokushima Indigo Socks clinched first place for the first-half of the Shikoku Island League plus season on Saturday with a 22-14-4 record.  The Kagawa Olive Guyners have the same record, but they went 5-6-1 in head-to-head games against Tokushima.

Source: official announcement

[6/24/2014] Route Inn BC League Updates: New teams in 2015, Ustream Channel

by on Jun.24, 2014 @ 5:39 pm, under Independent
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The BC League announced that their league will be made up eight teams next year.

Current Teams

Gunma Prefectural Team Gunma Diamond Pegasus http://d-pegasus.com/
Niigata Prefectural Team Niigata Albirex Baseball Club http://www.niigata-albirex-bc.jp/
Nagano Prefectural Team Shinano Grandserows http://www.grandserows.co.jp/
Toyama Prefectural Team Toyama Thunderbirds http://www.t-thunderbirds.jp/
Ishikawa Prefectural Team Ishikawa Million Stars http://www.m-stars.jp/
Fukui Prefectural Team Fukui Miracle Elephants http://www.m-elephants.com/

New Teams

Saitama Prefectural Team Musashi Heat Bears http://www.musashibears.com/
Fukushima Prefectural Team TBA TBA

Additional information will be released as it become available.

Source: official announcement

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The BC League has set up an official Route Inn BC League Ustream Channel. The league hopes to use the channel to stream games, press conferences, interviews, and various other types of content.

Source: official announcement

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The Gunma Diamond Pegasus announced on Monday that Alex Ramirez left Japan earlier in the day to attend to a sick family member. He will return when conditions improve.

Source: official announcement