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.
Steve Hammond currently plays for the Ishikawa Million Stars and would like a shot at playing in the NPB.
HT: 186cm | WT: 103kg | B/T: R/L
The following are some notes he passed along to me:
I found this online, didn't know someone was filming. Pitching against Yokohama DeNa Baystars Ni-gun. 6 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs. From May 25th.
This is against Gunma Diamond Pegasus - 7/27. From a complete game, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 bb, 6 k's, & only 84 pitches total. I'm not sure about velocity of my pitches (don't want to report inaccurately), because the radar guns are rare & unreliable. My fastball has generally been between 140-146, topping out at 148km. I also throw a cutter, change-up, and curveball.
I threw my 3rd consecutive complete game on Saturday. I gave up 2 hits (one was a solo HR). In my last 3 games - 27IP, 8H, 1R, 1BB, 21K. I'm now 9-3 with a 1.99 era on the season. Total pitches for the last 3 games were 84, 112, and 105.
He also picked up his tenth victory of the season on August 17.
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, July 6, 2012 – The Valley Isle's only professional sports team, Na Koa Ikaika Maui, is honored to welcome the Ishikawa Million Stars of Japan to the island of Maui for an exciting International Exhibition Series. The series will be held at Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku on Tuesday July 10th and Wednesday July 11th, with Maui set to visit the Million Stars in Ishikawa in September.
Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday July 10th start at 4:45pm. First pitch is 5:35pm for both games. This historic event re-ignites a friendship (between Japan and Maui) that has been built on the mutual love of the game of baseball. That friendship began back with Maui Legend (Olowalu-born) Wally Yonamine moving to Japan (after spending time with the SF 49ers), starring with the Yomiuri Giants from 1951 to 1962. He was elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. It was continued in the 1990’s with Winter League Baseball.
... Yoshida, the 20-year-old "Knuckle Princess" from Japan, is expected to start on the mound for Na Koa in Wednesday's game.