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Former Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks pitcher, Junpei Takahashi, announces retirement – Heading towards a new path

Pitcher Junpei Takahashi (26 years old) has announced his retirement from professional baseball. He joined the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks as a No. 1 draft pick 15 years ago following competition between three teams after his excellent performance with Gifu-Seiho High School.

Takahashi had a brilliant career, appearing in a personal record 45 games in 2019. He finished the year with 3 wins, 2 losses, 17 holds, and an impressive ERA of 2.65.

However, in his eighth season as a pro, he was unavoidably de-rostered by SoftBank. Yet, his decision to retire was not hasty, as he chose to retire with dignity as a player of the SoftBank organization.

Takahashi announced his decision to retire at a players’ golf meeting in Iizuka City, Fukuoka, and confessed in an interview, I’ve struggled a lot. I still have feelings for baseball, and regret.

His active days, where he excited the Koshien audience with his fastest 152 km/h fastball during his time at Gifu Commerce, are still fresh in memory. Moreover, he demonstrated his pitching skills as the ace of the Japanese national team during his high school years.

After his retirement, Takahashi will embark on a new path as a staff member of the SoftBank team. There’s much expectation for what lies ahead in his life.


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