• Kyodo


Newly signed outfielder Hichori Morimoto had the Yokohama BayStars hold a press conference to announce his signing in an unusual place on Saturday — the city’s historic Chinatown.

The 29-year-old fan favorite showed up in a Ramen man costume, modeled after the famous comic book character, in front of about 3,500 people after he put pen to paper on a three-year, free agent deal worth ¥360 million earlier in the day.

“I’ll play hard and bring a high spirit to the team,” Morimoto said. “I hope to help Yokohama Stadium have capacity crowds.”

A three-time Gold Glove winner, Morimoto hit .272 with two homers and 30 RBIs in 115 games for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2010.

“I’m satisfied that a lot of people enjoyed my appearance here,” Morimoto said.

The debt-ridden BayStars expect him to not only show his defensive and running skills but to help expand the team’s fan base.

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