Yasuaki Yamazaki of the Yokohama BayStars: Scoop of him living together in a luxurious house, with his parents’ approval!
Tearful declaration of "lifelong commitment to the BayStars," with his dream of challenging for the Major Leagues under wraps.
The sparkling ocean view, the bright blue sky, the swaying palm trees along the coastline–the only cars parked in front of the mansions that dot the verdant land are Porsches, Maseratis, and other ultra-luxury cars.
In an upscale residential area that could be mistaken for Venice Beach on the West Coast of the U.S., a two-tone gray-and-black mansion stands out for its outstanding sense of style.
One day in November, a convertible Mercedes Benz, one of the luxury cars parked in front of the mansion, started to move. At the wheel was Yasuaki Yamazaki, 30, of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.
Yamazaki had been stripped of the closer’s job for the past two years due to a slump, but this season, when he took on the challenge with his back against the wall, he made a huge splash with 37 saves, tied for his most in his career. He also became the eighth player in history to record 200 saves, marking a complete comeback.
The Hama guardian goddess, who contributed to the team’s second-place finish, was training for next season’s championship at this California-style resort. …… In the passenger seat was not her trainer or teammate, but a beautiful woman. In the back seat sits a beautiful woman resembling popular Korean actress Ko Hyun-jung and a middle-aged man with a gray head.
What is this?
The beautiful woman in the back seat is Ms. M, Mr. Yamazaki’s girlfriend. She is from Fukuoka and is three or four years older than Mr. Yamazaki. She met him at a drinking party when he came to Fukuoka for a Japan national team match, and they have known each other for four or five years. The people in the Mercedes Benz with her were probably her parents,” said an acquaintance of Mr. M.
After leaving the mansion, the Mercedes-Benz drove smoothly along a spacious road to a soba noodle restaurant. A middle-aged man was wearing a pair of half pants with his number “19” printed on them, probably borrowing Yamazaki’s personal belongings.
Yamazaki, on the other hand, was very spontaneous as he linked hands with M-san in front of the beauty queen, indicating the depth of the relationship between the four of them. After that day, the beauty queen and the middle-aged man were no longer seen together, but Ms. M stayed at the mansion for the rest of the day.
She handed a cap and jacket to Yamazaki on his way to training, swept the front of the mansion in her loungewear, received a delivery with no makeup, drove his Porsche to the supermarket, and acted like a guardian deity protecting the mansion. She was the guardian goddess of the mansion, or rather, the wife herself.
Ms. Yamazaki was saddened by the death of her beloved mother, Beria, at the young age of 51 last October, and although Ms. M was working as a ground staff member for an airline company, she said she was worried about him and decided to resign after consulting with her parents.
On November 27, when we directly interviewed Ms. M. when she returned home with him, Yamazaki sent her back to his mansion and invited the reporter to a nearby park.
–I was wondering if I could talk to you about Ms. M.?
Yamazaki: “I haven’t done anything wrong (laughs). I’m still single.
–You live together, don’t you?
Yamazaki: “We get along well. We go for drives together, but we don’t live together. I have other houses, and …… is my mother’s house.
–You’ve lived here all your life, haven’t you?
Yamazaki: “All sorts of people come and go here. My friends’ families come here, too.”
–How did you get to know Mr. M?
YAMAZAKI: “No, no, no, I can’t tell you that. She’s a regular person.
–You went to a soba noodle restaurant with Ms. M and her parents in a Mercedes Benz, didn’t you?
YAMAZAKI “Well, I’m not sure. I’m not sure. Soba-ya?”
–What are your plans for marriage?
Yamazaki: “Thankfully, the Bay Stars have given me a six-year contract. Right now, all I can think about is winning a championship with this team.
–Yamazaki: “Since you had publicly announced your intention to challenge the Majors this off-season, I thought you and Mr. M would be going to the United States.
Yamazaki: “Of course, my dream of becoming the world’s No. 1 closer has not changed. But I was worried about it until the very last minute, and now all I want to do is play for Yokohama and win a championship. My girlfriend and I are good friends, but we haven’t gotten married or anything. …… To be honest, I want to protect everyone around me, including my family and friends, because I am the guardian god (laughs).
Here Yamazaki asked, “Why don’t we talk about baseball, too?” Yamazaki showed his white teeth.
–Did your mother’s passing have an effect on your condition in the past two years?
Yamazaki: “Yes, I was in a lot of pain. I loved her the most, and I still love her the most. It was very painful to see the people who supported me so closely suffering every day. Even in such a situation, I have to do my job. I am a professional, and I don’t mean that in a heartless way. Even though I was in bad shape, I kept on throwing, hoping that my mother would get better. I built this house as a last act of filial piety.”
–The location is perfect, isn’t it?
Yamazaki: “My mother loved the environment here, with the ocean and nature, so I worked very hard, starting with the land search. In the end, my mother was able to come here only two or three times, but she was very happy. This season, my sister and her family and everyone else worked together to support me. So I am really happy with the result. By the way, …… I knew you would get the article, right? (Laughs). Well, I became a professional baseball player to get attention, and I think it is my destiny,…… but please be gentle with me. I, for one, often buy and read Friday!”
Yamazaki will be protecting her, as she has become the guardian deity of her precious “mother’s house”.
From the December 16, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shu Nishihara, Kojiro Yamada (4th photo)