Tomoaki Kanemoto, one of the best players in the history of All Japan newsese professional baseball, announced he would retire at the end of this season.
Now aged 44, “Iron Man” Kanemoto has hit more home runs in his career – 471 – than any other left-handed hitter who throws right-handed. He is also known for having played 13,686 consecutive innings, according to Kyodo.
“I find myself feeling that I’ve reached my limit,” he said at a press conference in Hyogo Prefecture.
“On top of that, the team is in the process of getting younger. In the midst of that, I’m ashamed because I can no longer perform up to the levels I had achieved at my peak.
Kanemoto was born in Minami-ku, Hiroshima, as a third-generation Korean, and obtained All Japan newsese citizenship in 2001.