Archive > 10 June 2009

The State of Illinois: Offical Friends of Shingo Takatsu

» 10 June 2009 » In nichibei » Comments Off

Found this while Googling for more information on Shingo Takatsu’s tryout with the Giants (there is none) – my home state of Illinois officially offered their friendship to Shingo back in 2004 when he was with the White Sox. Unfortunately, I was not a resident of Illinois at time this was issued, so I wasn’t included in the 12.5 million Illinoisians Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn was representing. I hope Shingo considers me a friend anyway.

Here is the text of the declaration:

State of Illinois

Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn

WHEREAS, Japan – which enjoys a rich, century-old baseball tradition – has contributed greatly to Major League Baseball in the United States; and


WHEREAS, the Chicago White Sox – who visited Japan in 1913 to play the New York Giants in a goodwill tour – recently signed their first Asian-born player – Shingo Takatsu – who is a worthy ambassador; and


WHEREAS, drafted by the Yakult Swallows in 1991, Shingo Takatsu has had an illustrious career, becoming Japan’s all-time saves leader with 260 saves and not allowing a single run in post-season play, earning him the nickname “Mr. Zero”; and


WHEREAS, Shingo Takatsu has already distinguished himself in the White Sox uniform by breaking a 17-year old record for pitching scoreless innings; and


WHEREAS, Major League Baseball has truly become global, with more than 3,100 players from 16 different nations playing professional baseball in the United States, including players from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan; and


WHEREAS, in these times of conflict, baseball’s international accent has enriched our culture, and fostered understanding and tolerance among diverse groups; and


WHEREAS, at least 28,000 persons of Japanese descent reside in Illinois and a Japanese-American community has existed continuously in Chicago for more than a century; and


WHEREAS, we are humbled to join the Consul General of Japan – the Honorable Yutaka Yoshizawa – in welcoming Shingo Takatsu to Illinois,


THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois, hereby extend a hand of friendship to Shingo Takatsu on behalf of Illinois’ 12½ million people, including our growing Asian American community and baseball fans everywhere.

Dated this 24th day of June, 2004.

Pat Quinn

Illinois Lieutenant Governor

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Inside the NPB Draft

» 10 June 2009 » In international baseball, npb, npb draft » 3 Comments

It’s officially Draft Week here in the United States, so it’s a great time to take a look inside the NPB Draft.

The NPB Draft occurs at the end of season in October and two different types of draft take place: the regular draft where teams select high school graduates, college graduates and industrial league players; and the ikusei player draft, for players for the Ikusei System.

Players eligible for the regular drafts are…

  • Graduating from a school in Japan the March after the draft
  • Graduating from a college the March after the draft (only seniors are eligible for the draft)
  • High School players who registered to enter the draft by notifying the Japan High School Baseball Federation
  • College players who registered to enter the draft by notifying the Japan University Baseball Federation
  • For industrial league players: If the player entered the league as a junior high or high school graduate, three years after entering they will be eligible for the NPB Draft. All other players are eligible two years after starting industrial league careers, unless the team is discontinued for financial reasons
  • For independent league players: Players will be treated equally to industrial league players unless the player declares intent for NPB, in which case they will be eligible anytime during their independent league career

There’s also a new regulation known as the Tazawa Rule…

  • Players who refuse to enter the NPB Draft and elect to play overseas will not be eligible for the draft for three years if going overseas after high school, two years for all others

How the draft works…

  • The first round is lottery-based, where every team may select the same player. In the event that more than one team selects the same player, the right to negotiate with that specific player will be determined by a drawing (Scene from 1989 Draft: Hideo Nomo) (Scene from 1992 Draft: Hideki Matsui)
  • After the first round, the draft continues in the waiver style, which is based on the final standings from the previous season. The last place teams will select first and so on. The last place team from the league which won the All-Star series will select first. If the All-Star series was a split by the two teams, who gets the first pick will be determined by the run difference in the two games.

The Draft is complete when 120 players total have been selected or if every team indicates they are finished selecting players. However foreign players and independent league players being drafted will not be included in the 120 players… So one team may end up with more players selected than another, usually depending on financial reasons or the strength of the draft class. Many changes are waiting to happen with the restrictions of the draft and we shall see what will really be the impact of Junichi Tazawa opting out of the NPB Draft in 2008.

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