“Farewell, Baseball Man,” Unseen Photos of Satoshi Iriki, Choji Murata, Hiromitsu Kadota | FRIDAY DIGITAL

“Farewell, Baseball Man,” Unseen Photos of Satoshi Iriki, Choji Murata, Hiromitsu Kadota

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Photo of Ms. Iriki on a date at Disney Sea in 2001 (photo provided by Ms. Iriki, from “FRIDAY” March 22, 2002). From the March 22, 2002 issue of “FRIDAY”)

From the end of last year through this year, many famous former professional baseball players who thrilled fans of yesteryear have departed.

Choji Murata (72, Lotte), Hiromitsu Kadota (74, Nankai, Orix, etc.), Satoshi Iriki (55, Kintetsu, Giants, etc.) ……. FRIDAY” has covered famous players in various ways. We would like to look back at their true faces, overflowing with passion, through treasured photos.

Mr. Iriki passed away on February 10 this year. At an intersection in Miyakonojo City, Miyazaki Prefecture, the mini-car he was driving collided with a standard-sized passenger car. He was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead two hours later.

I’m trying to move forward with her,” he said. It’s not something to hide, so the article in FRIDAY is totally fine.”

In February 2002, Iriki showed her good nature in a direct interview with this magazine. The previous season, Iriki recorded double-digit wins for the first time since joining the professional baseball team (10 wins and 3 losses) and contributed to the Yakult team winning the Japanese championship. On the other hand, he had his own troubles.

In January 2001, Iriki divorced his ex-wife and promised to pay her about 90 million yen in alimony and child support. However, Iriki’s annual salary at the time was an estimated 12 million yen. Since it was not an amount that he could afford to pay, his own mother sold her land and used the money for alimony. Therefore, Iriki’s life was so modest that it is hard to believe that he was a professional baseball player,” said a reporter for a sports newspaper.

At the time, Iriki lived in a 2DK apartment in Saitama City with a rent of 80,000 yen and commuted by train to Jingu Stadium, the home of the Yakult baseball team. Iriki was supported by a 22-year-old former idol. The two were living together, and this magazine saw them several times going to the supermarket for shopping and heading to the station. As mentioned above, Iriki was very open to direct interviews with our reporter.

Iriki’s fighting style, known as the “fight pitch,” kept the fans enthralled to the end of the interview.

Humans have no limits!”

Mr. Murata enthusiastically instructing a reporter (some photos have been doctored).

Look, put your chest out! Pull your arms back more, like a spring!

“I can’t do this anymore! I can’t do it anymore!

Humans have no limits! I’ve proven that.”

The man who gave the reporter this magazine’s enthusiastic, hands-on instruction was former Lotte ace Murata. The training took place in September 2010. Despite the fact that Murata was 60 years old at the time, his straight ball, thrown using the “masakari pitching technique,” reached 140 km. When we interviewed Mr. Murata to ask him why he had not declined even at the age of 60, he suddenly began to instruct us fiercely, saying, “Just imitate throwing for a minute.

The passionate Mr. Murata passed away on November 11, 2011. On November 11, 2011, a fire broke out at his home in Seijo, Tokyo, and Murata, who was on the second floor, was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced unconscious and confirmed dead.

Mr. Murata was caught red-handed assaulting a female security checker at Haneda Airport (Ota Ward, Tokyo) on September 23 of last year. He was released on bail on September 25, but he seemed dissatisfied with the way he was treated at the security checkpoint.

After the aforementioned intense training, Mr. Murata continued to communicate with the journalists. He must have had some feelings about the incident at Haneda Airport. About a week before his death, he called the reporter and left a meaningful message.

He called the reporter about a week before his death and left a meaningful message: “I was arrested, so of course I apologize for what I should have apologized for. But I don’t agree that it is my fault unilaterally. I’m discussing it with the people around me right now, but I’ll tell them everything once I’ve calmed down. I want to insist on my thoughts as well.

What is unfortunate is that I can no longer teach baseball to children on remote islands because of the recent turmoil (Mr. Murata had made it his life’s work since 2008 to promote activities to promote remote islands throughout Japan through baseball). These days, the number of children playing baseball is probably decreasing rapidly. They have gone to soccer and basketball. I want to expand the horizons of baseball. It is really frustrating that I can no longer go to the island. Once the case is settled, I want to convey the joy of baseball to children again.

Until the very end, Mr. Murata was determined to follow his own will. He never wavered in his determination to be a “starter and a complete pitcher. I would like to express my heartfelt respect to the great baseball players who have passed away.

Mr. Iriki riding his bicycle to the station with his live-in girlfriend in 2001.
Mr. Iriki in 2001, when he was at the top of his game (photo provided by Mr. Iriki, from the March 22, 2002 issue of “FRIDAY”).
Mr. Murata enthusiastically instructing a reporter (photo provided by Mr. Murata, from “FRIDAY,” March 22, 2002)
Mr. Murata enthusiastically instructing a reporter.
Mr. Kadota hit a total of 567 home runs, ranking third all-time behind Sadaharu Oh and Katsuya Nomura. He passed away on January 24 this year.

Mr. Murata was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a female inspector at Haneda Airport.
Mr. Murata apologized after his release last September 25.
  • Photographed by Hiroyuki Komatsu, Shinji Hasuo, Kei Kato, Shuntaro Abe

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