Takeshi Hidaka (37) and Tomoyuki Kubota (33) held press conferences at the team offices in Nishinomiya earlier today to announce their retirements.
Hidaka told reporters during his press conference that he felt it was time to quit because he felt he was no longer capable of being a productive Ichi-gun player.
If you're going to be a professional player, then you should be good enough to play at the Ichi-gun level. I only made it to Ichi-gun [once this year] and I thought maybe I wasn't good enough anymore, that my time had come.
Hidaka also said he had not regrets over his nineteen-year career and considered himself lucky.
Kubota felt it was time for him to step away from the game because he was no longer consistent. He also mentioned his elbow giving him problems.
I haven't done very well the last few years and I've been back and forth between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun. I had surgery in early spring and was working on coming back from that. But my elbow hasn't been feeling well. I decided it would difficult for me to continue play in my current condition.
In looking back over his career, he fondly remembered his time as part of the JFK trio.
Jeff [Williams], Kyuji [Fujikawa], and I were known as JFK and everyone learned about us. I was happy. Thank you for all the warm support over the last twelve years.
Source: official announcement (Hidaka), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014, official announcement (Kubota), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014