The media learned on Friday that forty-five-year-old pitcher Masao Kida is planning to retire at the end of the season.
Kida began his professional career as the Yomiuri Giants' first round draft pick in 1986. He was later traded to the Orix BlueWave in 1998. He exercised his FA option after the 1998 season and headed to the United States where he signed with the Detroit Tigers.
Kida returned to Orix partway through the 2000 season and was released after the 2001 season. He spent the following year rehabbing his lower back. In 2003, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and moved on to the Seattle Mariners in 2004, before returning to Japan and signing with the Yakult Swallows. He spent four years with the Swallows and played out the final three years of his professional career with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
In 2013, Kida signed with the Ishikawa Million Stars out of the BC League and paced the league with fifty-two appearances. He added General Manager to his job title before the 2014 season.
Kida made the All-Star series twice in his career (1990, 2006). He won an MVP of the Month in April 1990 and a Tokyo Dome MVP in 1995. He picked up one pitching major pitching title during his career -- he led the Central League in strikeouts with 182 in 1990. He finished out his career 73-82 with fifty saves and a 3.91 ERA in 516 games (1,269.2 innings).