Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hidenori Kuramoto Calls it a Career

This is kind of old news, but Hidenori chose to retire from playing at the end of the season after the Dragons did not offer him a contract for 2013.  The Dragons did, however, offer him a job as an assistant coach, which he chose to accept rather than trying to catch on with another NPB team or another pro team somewhere else in the world.  He is currently listed as the ni-gun outfield and baserunning coach and has been working with the team during fall camp.

Hidenori's career with Chunichi spanned fourteen years, with ichi-gun appearances in twelve of those years.  He was never really a full-time player due to his hitting, he finished with a .236 career average, but was a good athlete and a skilled defender and baserunner.  Those skills kept him on the team as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement allowing him to appear in 884 games for the Dragons.  He'll be remembered for his spectacular plays in the outfield, some can be seen in this video (highlights start at 1:25):

Gen from yakyubaka translated his retirement interview which had this fantastic quote:

"I was a Dragons fan the day I was born.  It was like being a superhero on a TV program and fighting enemies every day."

With his love for the game and text-book outfield play he should make a great coach!

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