Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants fire outfielder Takahiro Kakizawa for stealing, selling teammates’ equipment

Kyodo

The Yomiuri Giants have terminated the contract of minor league outfielder Takahiro Kakizawa for stealing from teammates and selling their equipment, the Central League club announced Saturday.

According to the club, the 23-year-old stole roughly 110 items on 12 different occasions from the clubhouse at the Giants’ minor league facility in Kawasaki. Kakizawa stole bats, gloves and other item belonging mostly to first-team players and sold them to two stores in Tokyo dealing in used brand-made items.

The player, who is said to have used some of the money to pay off debts, apparently made around ¥1 million ($9,054) on the transactions.

Some first-team players noticed items for sale on the internet, and security cameras caught Kakizawa in the act. The team questioned him and he admitted the thefts.

Kakizawa began his pro career with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, but was traded to the Giants in December 2016. He has never appeared in a first-team game.