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Takashi Saito, a former major leaguer and currently a reliever for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, announced his intention to retire from baseball at the end of the year on Monday in Sendai. It was a happy coincidence Saito’s news conference was the same day members from the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the last of Saito’s five MLB stops, were scheduled to be in the area, so that he was able to greet them at Sendai Station.

Saito, who Arizona team president Derrick Hall called “a terrific individual,” is so far the only Japanese player to have played for the Diamondbacks. Arizona wants more Saitos, more players who can connect the team with Japan.

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