Rare Kuwata and Kiyohara Photos
Posted by simon c on 2008 July 29日 Tuesday
Living legend and recently retired Masumi Kuwata (173-141, 3.55 ERA in NPB) threw 38 batting practice pitches today to almost-retired-but-still-rehabbing slugger Kazuhiro Kiyohara (.272/.389/.521, 525 HR, 1527 RBI) at Kobe’s Skymark Stadium. The interesting twist? Kuwata was in his Pittsburgh Pirates uniform which he wore briefly in 2007-08 while Kiyohara wore his Orix Buffaloes uniform. The two formed the core of the mighty PL Gakuen high school baseball team in the mid-80s (made it into all 5 possible Koshien tournaments, Spring and Summer, during their 3 years from the extremely competitive Osaka prefecture, won their way to 4 finals and won the whole thing twice), and were reunited on the Yomiuri Giants from 1997-2005. The image of Kiyohara tears before the final pitch of the 1987 Japan Series as his Seibu Lions clinched the series over the Kuwata’s Yomiuri Giants is legendary. Will Kiyohara make a full come back and add to his magnificient career homerun total (5th all time and 11 behind 4th place Carp Koji Yamamoto), we can never predict with his now shattered body.