Shogo, 186 cm, 90 kg, has a good physique, inherited from his father (Image: Jiji Press)He was a right-handed hitter reminiscent of his great father.
On May 31, at Jingu Stadium, a freshman tournament (a round-robin match between first- and second-year teams) of Tokyo Rokugaku University was held between Keio University and the University of Tokyo. Shogo Kiyohara, a sophomore selected to bat fourth for Keio University, hit a timely two-run homer to right field in the first inning off a 138 km/h straight ball. After the game, he expressed his gratitude to his parents to the press.
After the game, he thanked his parents, saying, “Since I decided to start playing baseball in college, I wanted to be sure to show filial piety to my parents.”
Shogo wore the number “5” in this game. It was the number of his father, Kazuhiro Kiyohara (54) when he played for the Orix. Mr. Kiyohara had also attended his oldest son’s game the day before (against Hosei). “Thank you for wearing No. 5,” he said to Shogo.
Shogo is 186 centimeters tall and weighs 90 kilograms, a physique he inherited from his father. Until the sixth grade when he was in Keio Kindergarten, he played second base for the All Azabu Little League, of which Kotaro Kiyomiya of Nippon Ham was a member. He joined the volleyball team when he entered the Keio Normal School (junior high school). At Keio High School, he played the tight end position on the American football team.
He chose baseball for the first time in six years when he entered Keio University last spring. “I have heard that his physical ability, which allowed him to be active in both volleyball and football and to compete regularly in college baseball, attracted attention from the time of the entrance examination for Keio’s kindergarten,” said a member of the Keio University baseball team.
“People I Admire” written on the baseball team’s website
Kiyohara divorced his former wife, Aki, in September 2002. Aki took custody of the children. There were days when Mr. Kiyohara could not see Shogo.
There were times when the father-son relationship became estranged. Even so, Shogo admired Mr. Kiyohara’s heroic figure during his playing days. He was taught baseball enthusiastically from an early age, and he must have felt a strong sense of gratitude. On the official website of the Keio University baseball team, he wrote “parents” in the column of “people I respect.”
A shocking incident occurred in February 2004 for Shogo. Shogo’s father, whom he respected, was arrested for violating the Stimulants Control Law.
Shogo, who was still in junior high school, must have felt angry, sad, and frustrated because his father, whom he respected, had turned to drugs. In December 2007, during his probationary period, he presented a handwritten, passionate message to Mr. Kiyohara at a baseball event in Hachioji, Tokyo. On the T-shirt, he wrote, “Stay young and healthy still, and never lose.” Mr. Kiyohara was touched by the cry of his eldest son’s soul and broke down in tears on the spot.
For Shogo, the period away from baseball coincided with the time of Kiyohara’s arrest. He must have had mixed emotions. The message on the T-shirt is an expression of those feelings. As a son, I think he wanted his respected father to recover and regain the brilliance of his playing days.
Shogo also had a timely hit on June 2 against Waseda University, scoring a run in two consecutive games. Wearing on his arm was a wristband given to him by Kiyohara.