In interviews with people involved, we learned that the manager who will lead the Japan National Team at the international baseball tournament to be held in Tokyo in November is unified by Hirokazu Ibata, who played in professional baseball and Chunichi.
The Samurai Japan Strengthening Committee, a Japan baseball council made up of professional and amateur representatives, has been selecting a successor to manager Hideki Kuriyama, who led the Japan National Team to victory in the WBC = World Baseball Classic this year and retired at the end of May.
As a result, interviews with people involved revealed that Mr. Ibata has unified the manager who will lead the Japan National Team at the Asian Professional Baseball Championship, an international tournament to be held at the Tokyo Dome in November.
Mr. Ibata is 5 years old.
He joined Chunichi in 11 as the fifth overall draft pick, and was a seven-time Golden Glove Award winner and five-time Best Nine player with solid defense and reluctant batting at short and second.
He then played for the Giants, and after retiring in 2015, he coached the Giants and Japan National Team, helped them win gold medals as an infield defensive and running base coach at the Tokyo Olympics, and coached the Under-12 Japan National Team.
Due to the long-term contract period that has been a bottleneck for the coach of the Japan National Team, and the difficulty in selecting people this time, if Mr. Ibata is appointed, he will first be entrusted with the coaching of the tournament in November, and then he will reconsider his subsequent terms for the Premier11 tournament next autumn and the WBC three years later.