NAGOYA - Chunichi Dragons player-manager Motonobu Tanishige said Monday that this will be his last season as an active player.
The 44-year-old Tanishige, who holds Nippon Professional Baseball’s record for games played with 3,019, is the fourth Dragons player to announce his retirement this month following outfielder Kazuhiro Wada, first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and pitcher Kenta Asakura.
“Am I sad it’s finally come to this or am I looking forward to this long-awaited moment? I feel both ways,” Tanishige told a press conference.
Tanishige turned pro out of high school in 1989 as the first-round draft pick of the Yokohama Taiyo Whales, the forerunners of the current Yokohama BayStars. In 1998, he was a key contributor to the franchise’s first Japan Series championship since 1960, but joined the Dragons as a free agent after the 2001 season.
In 2013, Tanishige reached 2,000 career hits and the following season was named the Dragons’ playing manager. He has played in just 28 games this season.