Baseball / Japanese Baseball

BayStars manager Alex Ramirez to become Japanese citizen

Kyodo

Alex Ramirez, the only foreign-born player to reach 2,000 career hits in NPB, revealed Monday he is waiting for the final seal of approval to obtain Japanese citizenship in 2018.

Entering his third year as manager of the Yokohama BayStars, the Venezuelan-born former major leaguer has led the Central League club to back-to-back third-place finishes, including a Japan Series berth last season.

The 43-year-old said he would like to “repay Japanese baseball as a Japanese” and contribute in other ways, adding that it is his dream to serve as manager of the Japan national team in the future.

After playing in the majors for the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates, Ramirez made his debut in Japan in 2001 with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He won two CL MVP awards with the Yomiuri Giants before finishing his career with the BayStars in 2013.