Shogo Kiyohara, 19, an infielder at Keio University and the eldest son of Kazuhiro Kiyohara, 54, who played for Seibu, the Giants and Orix, started at 4th and 1st base in the Tokyo Six University Baseball Fall Freshman Tournament.
“He is 186 centimeters tall, weighs 90 kilograms, and has the physique of his father. In addition, he’s quite handsome, and I’m sure he’ll attract more attention in the future.
Shogo played second base in a local Little League team until he was in the sixth grade at Keio Kindergarten, then joined the Keio Junior High School volleyball team, and played tight end on the Keio High School football team.
“When he entered Keio University this spring, he chose baseball for the first time in six years. He has been active in both ballet and football, and his physical ability to become a regular in college baseball has been attracting attention since the time of the Keio kindergarten entrance exam.
The kindergarten entrance examination does not include a paper test, but consists of three parts: 1) physical activity, 2) behavioral observation, and 3) painting/production. 2) playing games in a group or playing with toys individually. In the third, the children had to draw pictures and make clay crafts according to a theme that required imagination.
“He did very well on the motor test. When I asked him to throw a ball, I wondered how far it would fly. For example, there used to be a scene in a TV drama where business results were lined up in a bar graph. If your performance was too good, the bar graph would go out of the paper, and I heard that his case was just like that.
(A Keio kindergarten official who knew him at the time.) Needless to say, the examiners, who had assumed that the son of a gang leader would not be that bad, were astonished.
“I think they felt like they had found a shining gem. It’s a legend. By the way, my second son will also attend Keio from kindergarten.
I mentioned earlier that Shogo was away from baseball for six years, but this period coincided with the “rough times” of his father Kazuhiro after he retired from baseball.
“He was suffering from diabetes due to his crazy daily life, and his blood sugar level was like a roller coaster because he would drink alcohol in a state of ‘very low blood sugar. He would often go out at night from home and not come home for several days, and when he came back, he would be depressed and stay in his room. He was kept away from the baseball world and the entertainment world, lost his real job, and it was reported that his house was foreclosed because he failed to pay his taxes. There was even an article that he chased his wife around with a knife, which led to a divorce and his wife having custody of their two children.
Later, Kazuhiro was arrested and charged with violating the Methamphetamine Control Act, and it became clear that he had a deep relationship with illegal drugs behind his many problematic behaviors.
It was impossible for the family not to see Kazuhiro’s behavior in the home. It is said that his eldest son left baseball in junior high school, partly because he wanted to turn away from his father.
“When Kazuhiro learned of this, he broke down in tears. It is said that Kazuhiro broke down in tears when he learned that his beloved eldest son had abandoned baseball, which he loved so much, and that he blamed himself for causing it.
Kazuhiro is probably the only person who is happier than anyone else that his eldest son has picked up a bat and glove again and is standing on the stage at Jingu as “4th and 1st base.