Motohiro Shima (Rakuten) was officially named the new chairman of the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) during a organizational meeting at a hotel in Osaka earlier today. He took over for former chairman Takahiro Arai (Hanshin). As chairman, Shima is: the 8th in JPBPA history; the first player from the Pacific League; and, at twenty-seven years of age, the youngest (first player in his twenties to be named JPBPA chairman). Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2012, Sanspo 12/6/2012
Arai made a parting speech today and mentioned that he was disappointed he could not do more to help make it easier for former players to find jobs as coaches at the high school level. Shima will now resume where Arai left off. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2012, Nikkan Sports 12/6/2012
Snaspo has posted portions of Shima's press conference.
What did you think when you were selected?
I was a bit worried. I am still in my sixth year as a professional [player]. At first, I wondered if I could really handle this position.
Why did you accept?
I decided after Arai approached me and asked that I take over because I was the only one he felt could handle it.
What are some of the things you learned from watching former chairman Arai?
The biggest thing is saying what is on your mind, saying what you feel. When Arai speaks, he mixes in emotion. I would like to be like that.
What kinds of things will you do to help Tohoku Earthquake victims?
We have been sending baseballs and equipment. Continuing to do things like that over the next few decades will be important.
What are you plans for the JPBPA?
I think it will be important to remember how this association grew and developed as we step forward and carve out a new history. I do not want to forget our past as we take on new challenges.
Source: Sanspo 12/6/2012
Past JPBPA Chairmen
- Kiyoshi Nakahata (Yomiuri Giants) - November 5, 1985
- Tatsunori Hara (Yomiuri Giants) - July 25, 1989
- Akinobu Okada (Hanshin Tigers, Orix BlueWave) - July 26, 1992
- Kozo Shoda (Hiroshima Carp) - December 5, 1995
- Atsuya Furuta (Yakult Swallows) - December 4, 1998
- Shinya Miyamoto (Yakult Swallows) - December 1, 2005
- Takahiro Arai (Hanshin Tigers) - December 4, 2008