Hotaka Yamakawa Recalled and Criticized an Incident Involving a Famous Athlete | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hotaka Yamakawa Recalled and Criticized an Incident Involving a Famous Athlete

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Hotaka Yamakawa (right) and former Chunichi pitcher Hiroaki Nakayama (left)

The bashing of Hotaka Yamakawa (32), who moved to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, has not stopped.

On January 5, team chairman Sadaharu Oh (83) gave an interview at the beginning of the workday and mentioned Yamakawa.

He said, “I have received a lot of criticism, but as far as we are concerned, we must not create a world in which people who have the power to live in the baseball world cannot live in that world. He has received a lot of social sanctions and is very sorry for what he has done, and I think he should be given a chance to make up for it.

He expressed this opinion, but on social networking sites,

I understand that Mr. Oh is a man of character, but this time I think he seems a bit KY-ish.

“He really is out of touch with the common sense of the world!

Yamakawa’s FA transfer was also criticized. Furthermore, over Yamakawa’s FA transfer to the Saitama Seibu Lions, Tsuyoshi Wada (42), who was reported to be temporarily transferred to the Lions, was pitied as “a victim of a baseball team that neglects veterans,” and Noh Kaino (27), who was actually transferred, was pitied as “the victim of a false report. This, too, was originally triggered by Yamakawa’s transfer, and Hawks fans have become more critical of him.

It is quite shocking for Hawks fans to hear that even Chairman Oh, who is a symbol of the Japanese professional baseball world, has come in for criticism. Certainly, as Chairman Oh said, Yamakawa has already received social sanction, but Seibu fans are still not satisfied with Yamakawa’s departure.

Seibu did not fire Yamakawa after his problems with women, but gave him a chance to make up for it and even offered him a job. But the fans think that he chose the Hawks, who offered him a more lucrative contract, and left Seibu behind.

What the public is even more unconvinced about is the fact that he was treated so well by a man who was “suspected of sexual assault.

Yamakawa was ultimately not prosecuted, but he still bears a certain amount of responsibility. SoftBank, on the other hand, treated him well, paying him a total of 1.6 billion yen over a four-year period. This is not something that the public, even if they are not fans, can easily accept.

In the long history of professional baseball, there have been players similar to Yamakawa who were once dismissed from a team, but returned to the NPB several years later and were successful.

He is Hiroaki Nakayama, an ace pitcher for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama DeNA BayStars). In November 1991, he was arrested on charges of indecent assault against two girls, despite the fact that he was engaged to a fiancée. He admitted his guilt, but the charges were later dropped after a settlement was reached with the victim’s family. Taiyo subsequently fired Nakayama. The public supported the team’s decision.

In January 1992, Nakayama held a press conference in front of the media and again apologized to fans and team officials,

He apologized again to the fans and team officials and said, “In my heart, I want to play baseball.

I really want to play baseball,” he said.

In February of the same year, NPB received a notice from MLB to inquire about Nakayama’s status after he was dismissed from the team. The possibility of transferring to the Majors had been raised, but Nakayama told “Shukan Gendai” at the time, “I don’t want to go overseas because it would be like running away from a difficult environment. No matter how much criticism I receive, I want to train in Japan and endure the harsh criticism.

(A reporter for a baseball magazine) After several weeks of training at a temple, Nakayama started working for a transportation company in April of that year.

Nakayama is by nature a taciturn and serious person, so he worked quietly at his job. During that time, he did not watch any baseball-related programs, but when he was invited by the company’s baseball team, he started practicing again.

(A reporter mentioned above) For Nakayama, there gradually began to be calls from the business community in Yokohama City and his hometown in Kochi Prefecture, hoping for his return to the baseball world. The “Citizens’ Association for Hiroaki Nakayama’s Return” was formed, and a petition drive was launched on January 7, 1993, to request his return to the baseball world. By the 28th of the same month, about 100,000 signatures had been collected, mainly from Yokohama City and Kochi Prefecture.

As a result, in December 1993, Chunichi signed him to a one-year contract as a hitting pitcher, and in June 1994, he officially signed a contract with no signing bonus and an annual salary of 8 million yen.

As soon as it was announced, the baseball team and its parent company, Chunichi Shimbun, were inundated with phone calls protesting the contract. When he returned to the game and took the mound on live TV, the commentators did not mention the circumstances of his return or his character, as if they were touching a tumor. It is said that the TV stations were very considerate because there was a victim in the case.

Nakayama spent eight years as a reliever for Chunichi, moved to Taiwan Professional Baseball in 2002, and retired at the end of the 2003 season. His first son was born shortly thereafter.’ When interviewed by Asahi Entertainment Weekly in 2004, Nakayama expressed his feelings of repentance and his anxiety about whether he could have a child….

Yamakawa, on the other hand, has remained largely silent in his explanations and thoughts to fans and the public regarding the problems he has caused.

Nakayama left the baseball world once and made a fresh start as a working adult, doing community service as well. When he came back, he was aware of criticism, but he did not run away from it and continued to deal with the media and fans sincerely. I wonder if Yamakawa is prepared to go that far. When this season begins, he will naturally be subjected to criticism. I wonder if he will be able to withstand it and play an active role. ……” (professional baseball player)

Yamakawa has at least four years left in his baseball career. What will he show his fans in the future?

Pitcher Hiroaki Nakayama returns to baseball as a hitting pitcher for the Chunichi Dragons (January 28, ’94 issue).
Pitcher Hiroaki Nakayama just after being registered as a professional baseball player for the first time in two and a half years (July 8, ’94 issue).
  • PHOTO. Yasuko Sakaguchi (Yamakawa), Shoichiro Tsuboi (Nakayama 1st and 2nd), Yutaka Asai

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