Watanabe reads the letter aloud, “My greatest asset is that Mr. Utsumi taught me various things.”
Pitcher Seibu Tetsuya Utsumi held a retirement interview in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture on the morning of the 19th. When he decided to retire, he said, “At this moment, I am full of feelings . I feel like that day has finally come.” On the same day, in the game against Rakuten, which will take place at his home base, the Belluna Dome, he will be the starting pitcher for his last pitch, which will be his 335th game overall, and will bid farewell to his 19 years. professional life (Giant 15 years, Seibu 4 years).
On why he decided to retire, “I felt like I had to leave somewhere this season. I was a little hesitant, but I saw young players grow up and play an active role in the first army, so I decided to stay. I decided that I would be an obstacle and an obstacle, “he reveals. “It would not have been strange if the Lions told me to stop more early. I can only thank you for letting me have it until I decide,” he said in a trembling voice, and at times he was lost for words.
In his 19 years as a professional at Seibu Giants, he served four managers. “At the Giants, even though I couldn’t do anything to throw under the manager (Tsuneo Horiuchi) (when I joined the team), I was able to build a foundation thanks to him using it in the first team, and I was called an ace by the manager (Tatsunori Hara). I was given the stage given to me. I couldn’t come up with the performance I wanted to Mr. Yoshinobu (Takahashi) and the director (Hatsuhiko Tsuji), but I’m grateful.”
At the press conference, pitcher Yutaro Watanabe, a right-handed fourth-year high school graduate, appeared as a surprise and read the letter aloud. With tears in her eyes, she said, “I remember being scolded like it was yesterday. The fact that Mr. Utsumi taught me a lot of things is my greatest asset. Watanabe is 18 years younger than Utsumi, 40, but he accompanied him on his voluntary off-season training and admired him as a teacher.
Utsumi has a total of 135 wins and 103 losses. During the Giants days, he was active as an ace, having the most wins twice and the most strikeouts once. Contributed to the team as a leader who directs pitching personnel as well as results. In 2018, he was transferred to Seibu as personal compensation for the giants’ acquisition of receiver Ginjiro Sumitani in the FA, but his popularity has not changed. He was admired by young players, including Watanabe, and even served as pitching coach this season.