Yoshio Itoi, who played for both teams, talks about the future of the Kansai Derby. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yoshio Itoi, who played for both teams, talks about the future of the Kansai Derby.

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I wonder which one it will be.

When the moderator asked him a question about his prediction for the winner of the Japan Series, the man called “superhuman” smiled.

On October 25, baseball commentator Yoshio Itoi (42) appeared at the press conference of Phiten, a manufacturer of body care products.

Yoshio Itoi, 42, a baseball commentator, showed off his products, saying, “People around me call me superhuman, superhuman, so I used Phiten to maintain it.

At a press conference on the 40th anniversary of the founding of Phiten Corporation, a body care company, and its expansion into the EC business in Greater China, the company’s president, Yoshihiro Hirata, 70, briefed reporters on the company’s future plans. Mr. Itoi has been known as a loyal Phiten user since his working days, and he was a guest speaker at the press conference as an official ambassador of Phiten,” said a reporter from the business department of a national newspaper.

Itoi was active with the Orix, winning the stolen base title from ’13 to ’16. He then became an FA player for Hanshin and played there for five years until his retirement last September.

This year’s Japan Series is the Kansai Derby between the Hanshin and Orix teams. It is the first time in 59 years that two teams from the Kansai region are competing for the top spot in Japan. Itoi, who is familiar with both teams and has experience in the Japan Series, is attracting attention in the sports media as the ‘Series Man.

Whether or not he knew what to expect, the first thing Itoi said at the press conference was a complaint about his last at-bat.

In my last at-bat, the opposing pitcher usually throws only straight pitches, but Hiroshima was competing with the Hanshin team for third place, so they threw me a fastball and tried to hold me down (laughs). (Laughs.) But I’m glad I got a hit.

Mr. Itoi and President Hirata are from Tango City, Kyoto Prefecture. When President Hirata reminisced about their first meeting, ” We had steak at the Shin Hankyu Hotel,” Itoi immediately replied , “We got drunk! He replied, “We got drunk!

Toward the end of the press conference, when the topic turned to the Japan Series, Itoi finally offered his analysis.

If I had to say who the key players were, I would say the pitchers in the first game. For the Orix, it will be Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) and for the Hanshin, it will be Odeki Murakami (25). Whoever wins the first game will win the championship, don’t you think? I try not to say too much about who will win. Hahahahaha!”

Although Itoi remained vague about his prediction for the winner, he did reveal his honest feelings about the Kansai Derby in an interview after the press conference.

I was aiming for victory with both teams. At best, I was able to finish second, but I was not able to win the championship. I was deeply moved to see those two teams meet (in the Japan Series). Most of the Hanshin players played together, and there are a lot of Orix players left. I’m rooting for both of them.

Who will win the Kansai Derby, in which the “superheroes” are so emotionally involved?

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