CHICAGO - Former Chicago White Sox infielder Tadahito Iguchi threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Guaranteed Rate Field Thursday as he was honored on his retirement from baseball after 21 seasons.
Iguchi, who played second base during Chicago’s run to the 2005 World Series title, also received a certificate of appreciation from Naoki Ito, the Consul-General of Japan in Chicago, in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of friendship between the United States and Japan.
After a tribute video was shown, Iguchi took the mound prior to Chicago’s home finale with the Los Angeles Angels.
“It feels like yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like a distant memory. I’m really happy to have made it back here,” said Iguchi, who was accompanied by his daughter on the trip.
“My ultimate goal is to come back and wear a uniform in Major League Baseball. Until that day comes, I hope to do a lot of studying,” he said.
The 42-year-old spent eight seasons with the Daiei Hawks (now the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) before leaving for the MLB. He returned to Japan in 2009 and joined the Chiba Lotte Marines, where he spent the remainder of his career before deciding to retire after this season.
In his MLB career, which also included stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, Iguchi batted .268 with 494 hits, 44 homers, 205 RBIs and 48 stolen bases in 493 games.