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Returning to Japanese baseball this season after a decade-long absence is Ralph Bryant, one of the most prolific sluggers ever to play the game here as a member of the Kintetsu Buffaloes from 1988 to 1995, and currently the first-base coach and a batting instructor with the Orix Buffaloes.

Bryant was asked last winter to join the coaching staff of the merged Orix-Kintetsu club by manager Akira Ogi, Bryant’s manager for the first five years he played for the Buffaloes, and the Georgia native accepted right away.

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