Iguchi and Toritani held a baseball clinic in Nishi-Tokyo City
Mr. Tadahito Iguchi, who was the manager of Lotte until this season, and Mr. Takashi Toritani, who was active in Hanshin and Lotte and retired from active duty until 2021, were held at Waseda University’s Abe Stadium in Nishi-Tokyo City, Tokyo on the 3rd. Participated in the “GRAFARE Junior Baseball Class” sponsored by Tact Home Co., Ltd. 77 6th graders from 11 teams belonging to the West Tokyo City Rubber Baseball Association Boys Club participated and enjoyed a precious time.
Mr. Iguchi, who has also won the Citizen’s Honor Award in his hometown of Nishi-Tokyo City, instructed the local baseball boys. Mr. Iguchi said, “I’m grateful to be able to play in my hometown today. I’d be happy if a professional baseball player was born from Nishi-Tokyo City.” Last year, only Mr. Iguchi participated, but this year, Mr. Toriya appeared as a “secret guest”. The voices of surprise and joy were overflowing from the children and guardians who participated.
In the baseball class, there was plenty of time for playing catch, knocking, and batting practice, and the elementary school students received specific instructions from the two with a serious look. Prior to practice, Mr. Iguchi said, “Today’s theme is to do well in balance,” and called on practicing to be conscious of the balance of the body, which tends to collapse when playing catch or batting. He explained, “Balance is important in any sport, not just baseball.
There was also a scene where he taught the importance of caring for the opponent in team sports, not being selfish, saying, “Catch the ball until it reaches the opponent’s chest.” “Catch ball is the basis of baseball. Today’s 6th graders were very good at it, so I didn’t have to teach them,” he said with a smile at the high level of the players. Furthermore, in batting practice, while explaining the importance of using the lower body, he also conveyed the importance of swinging with all one’s might without fear of failure, saying, “It’s OK to miss.”
At the end, the two played long tees from the middle of the mound and the platform towards the right, and Mr. Iguchi repeatedly shot over the fence with his unwavering batting stick. Players’ eyes sparkled at the overwhelming flight distance of former professional baseball players. At the closing ceremony, there was a question corner from the players, a lottery for autographed goods, and a photo session, which was very exciting until the very end.
(Tatsuya Kimura / Tatsuya Kimura)