Those were very impressive words.

“I didn’t want to leave, but I’m still playing baseball, so I want to do my best so that as many people as possible can see me on that mound.”

Nippon-Ham pitcher Masayoshi Tanaka (28) gave a frank answer.

I interviewed after the game against Softbank (Pay Pay Dome) on April 11. It was the day when I visited the base of my old home where I was enrolled until last season for the first time, and my turn came in the 8th inning. Warm applause was sent from the whole stadium when the name was called in the stadium. On the mound, which he was supposed to aim for this season, he wore a Nippon-Ham uniform and finished the first inning with three outs without losing his trademark smile.

Looking back on the scene where they were greeted with applause, “I am truly grateful.” Following his words of gratitude, he spoke of his passionate feelings at the beginning, “I didn’t want to leave (from Softbank), but I still want to play baseball.”

In 2016, the first-ranked right-hander in the 2016 draft, who transferred to Nippon-Ham as compensation for moving to FA, made his first professional save in tears against Orix (Escon Field) on the 26th after many twists and turns. However, he has just begun a new baseball life in a new world that he has destined to arrive at. “I want to do my best so that as many people as possible can see the dynamic appearance on that mound,” he continues to swing his right arm.[Daisuke Kinoshita]