I didn't even know that he was qualified for the FA (Free Agent)..
He was a star player in this all time C class team. (no offence)
He even was a leading hitter back in 2008, also got 2 other titles.
Also, he is so famous for his unique, funny character and of course, his アゴ (chin).
Some of you might remember him in WBC, World Baseball Classics last year.
I went to watch the game (JAPAN vs USA) in Dodger Stadium in LA:)
He was one of the players who led Japan to the champion!!
Now, he left Baystars and announced that he joined Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, the home team of Fukuoka, Kyushu.
He chose to be in one of the A class team back home.
I've been his fan since I was in high school, when he was still a freshman.
I used to go to minor leaue games with friends in Kawasaki and Yokosuka to watch him play.
Almost ten years past, now he's an A class major player!
It's kinda sad that now I can't see him in the land of Yokohama, but I know that it's every players dream to experience the No.1, the Champion.
Though I remember Baystars won the championship back in 1998.
At that time, people described Yokohama people (ハマの人間) very patient, cool and calm.
You know why? Because we waited for 38 years to have that moment, seeing Baystars win the championship!!!!
If it were Hanshin Tigers fans (People in Osaka), oh yeah, they would have started a war or something already. lol
About 400 thousand people rushed to Minatomirai / Kannai area to see the champion parade.
I remember they built a shrine of Sasaki, a pitcher. It was called Daimajinja 大魔神社.
He was a former player of Seattle Mariners, too.
Well, that was the last time Baystars won a championship though....
12 years have past now, so...maybe another 20 years to be patient? lol
Also, his wife, a Fuji TV's newscaster Tsubasa Nagano, might leave her FNS Super News position and her company to move to Fukuoka and support her husband fully.
Anyway, I really wish him a good luck in his new team :)
See? I'm totally cool with it, because I'm ハマの人間！笑