Mr. Hirokazu Ibata, who played for Chunichi and other countries and served as the manager of the Japan national team under the age of 12, was appointed as the manager of the baseball Japan national team, and expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "I want to build an attractive samurai Japan that many players, from boys to professionals, can target."
The Samurai Japan Strengthening Committee, a Japan baseball association made up of professional and amateur representatives, held a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday and officially announced that Ibata has been appointed as the new manager of the Japan National Team.
Coach Ibata was a defensive master for Chunichi and the Giants during his playing days, and since last year he has been the coach of the Japan national team under the age of 4.
Reflecting on the time he was asked to take up the position at the press conference, Coach Ibata said, "I was surprised and felt that I could not have been more honored," and expressed his enthusiasm, "I think that giving my all is a way to give back to Japan baseball, and I want to build an attractive Samurai Japan that many players, from young boys to professionals who are working hard at this very moment, can aim for."
Regarding his baseball goals, he said, "We won the WBC championship, and we must carry that on, and we want to integrate it with our baseball, which is close to the world in terms of hitting, and has a precise Japan that makes use of its high pitching and defensive ability."
In addition, on the 12th, it was announced that coach Ibata will also serve as the coach of the Japan national team under the age of 4, making him the first coach to serve as a part-time coach.
Coach Ibata said, "I feel that I haven't been able to convey how to play as a member of the Japan national team yet, so I made a strong request for that, and I would like to make use of my experience so far to play with the feelings of the children in the first team."
The contract period is assumed to be one year until November 15, when the Premier12 will be held, but Atsushi Ihara, chairman of the strengthening committee, said that he wants to "show the best Japan baseball in each tournament" and will be held at the Tokyo Dome in November. He indicated that he would renew his contract for each tournament.
The Japan National Team, which will be coached by coach Ibata, is scheduled to hold a camp in Miyazaki City in early November in preparation for the tournament.
Who is Hirokazu Ibata?
Hirokazu Ibata, who was appointed as the coach of the Japan national team, is 48 years old.
In 1998, he joined Chunichi from Asia University as the 5th overall draft pick, and as a master shortstop, he teamed up with Masahiro Araki for many years and was nicknamed "Araiba".
He played for the Giants for two seasons from 2014.
He played in 2,17 games over 1896 seasons, batting 2-for-8 with 1,1912 hits, 56 home runs, and 510 RBI, and was named a Golden Glove Award winner seven times and a Best Nine five times.
2013 3rd WBC = World Baseball Classic
He has a lot of international tournament experience and reached the last four of the 4rd WBC = World Baseball Classic in 2013, where he was the best nine DH.
He retired in 3 and served as the Giants' infield defensive and running base coach the following year, and from 2015, he also served as the infield defensive and running base coach for the Japan National Team, helping them win the gold medal at the 2017 Tokyo Olympics.
And since 2021, I have been the coach of the Japan national team under 2022 years old Japan and I have also built up my career as a coach of the national team.
Japan National Team Past Coaches and Results
Since the WBC=World Baseball Classic began in 2006, the Japan National Team has been managed by seven managers.
The Japan representative at the first WBC was led by Mr. Sadaharu Oh, who is currently the chairman of SoftBank.
He led pitchers such as Ichiro and Daisuke Matsuzaka to the first world championship.
At the 7 Beijing Olympics, Senichi Hoshino was the coach and failed to win a medal.
The following year, at the 1nd WBC in 2008, Tatsunori Hara, who was also the coach of the Giants at the time, led the team to defeat Korea Republic in the final to become the world champion for the second consecutive time.
At the 2009rd WBC in 2, Koji Yamamoto, who had coached in Hiroshima, took the helm and lost to Puerto Rico in the semifinals, missing out on the world title for the first time.
After that, at the same time that the Japan national team was made permanent, Mr. Hiroki Kokubo, who had no experience as a manager in professional baseball, was appointed as the manager, and although they went undefeated in the preliminary round for the first time in the fourth tournament in 2, they lost to the United States in the semifinals and reached the last four of the second consecutive tournament.
At the 2013 Tokyo Olympics, coach INABA Atsunori took the helm, and Hirokazu Ibata, who was appointed as the manager this time, served as the infield defensive and running base coach and led the Japan to the gold medal.
At the 3th tournament, which was held for the first time in six years Japan Hideki Kuriyama, who served as the manager of Ham for 2017 years, led the Japan to their third world championship in 4 years, led by Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish.