Senichi Hoshino walked into a room full of reporters on a gray and rainy day in Sendai a few years back with a smile that lit up the room. This was the day after his Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles won the draft lottery for the rights to pitcher Yuki Matsui and the day prior to his team hosting Game 1 of the 2013 Japan Series, and Hoshino was practically beaming.

On that day, someone who had never met him may have been caught off-guard. Hoshino sat there looking jovial and distinguished. He even cracked a couple of jokes. The fire and brimstone persona the sometimes gruff manager was more known for during his career was very seemingly absent.

But while it may have hard to see, the fire in Hoshino, which pushed him on a relentless pursuit of success during his playing days and later as a manager, was there and had never stopped burning.