Archive > 23 September 2008

Oh Announces Retirement

» 23 September 2008 » In npb » 2 Comments

It’s official: Oh has announced that he’s stepping down at the end of the season. Unfortunately, Oh’s Hawks are 10 games under .500 with 9 remaining to play, so we won’t see an inspired run to the playoffs down the stretch.

Oh’s announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise. As I mentioned in last night’s post, he’d suffered from stomach cancer in 2006. Although this is likely the end of his time in professional baseball in Japan, he left the door open for future involvement in Japan baseball during his press conference: “If there is a need in Japan baseball and I’m asked, I think I should cooperate”.

Sanspo has a photo retrospective looking at Oh’s 14-year career managing the Hawks.

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Sadaharu Oh to Resign

» 23 September 2008 » In npb » Comments Off

Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh is expected to announce his resignation as manager of the SoftBank Hawks following today’s game against Rakuten. I’ll have more details tomorrow morning (California time).

Oh has run the Hawks’ field operations for 14 years, an unusually long time for a manger in any league. Although his style is sometimes unorthodox, he made the Hawks perennial contenders and took Japan Series Championships in 1999 and 2003. After a prolonged slump, the Hawks uncharacteristically fallen to 5th place for the season.

Oh has battled health issues in recent years, most notably a bout with stomach cancer in 2006. Oh is widely considered to be the best player in Japanese baseball history, pounding 868 home runs in his distinguished career with the Yomiuri Giants.

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