Orix’s Taguchi to retire


Former major league outfielder So Taguchi, who began his career with the Orix BlueWave in 1992, revealed on his official website Tuesday that he has decided to retire from professional baseball.

The 43-year-old was released from the Orix Buffaloes at the end of last season and had hoped to continue playing in Japan, but no offers were forthcoming by the July 31 deadline for new contracts.

“Unfortunately, the day has come that I had to make a decision about my baseball career,” Taguchi wrote.

Taguchi joined Orix in 1992 as a first-round draft pick, helping lead the team to the Japan Series title in 1996.

Taguchi joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002 and won a World Series championship in 2006. A career .276 hitter with 1,219 hits in 1,222 games in Japan, Taguchi also had stints with the Philadelphia Phillies who won the 2008 World Series and the Chicago Cubs before returning to play for Orix in 2010.

The Hyogo native had a lifetime .279 average with 382 hits in 672 major league games.