A member of the 2005 White Sox is adding some hardware to his collection.
Former closer Shingo Takatsu has won the 2021 Japan Series as skipper of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, his first at the helm. In total, Takatsu has claimed five Series championships, with his four others coming as a player with the same team.
Stuck in a close Game 6 battle with the Orix Buffaloes, Takatsu’s Swallows were able to eventually pull away thanks to Shingo Kawabata’s 12th inning pinch-hit RBI single. The clutch knock was enough for a 2-1 lead at the time, and that’s all they would need. With the win, the team earned their sixth championship in franchise history and first since 2001.
In an article published by Kyodo News, Takatsu reflected on this year’s impressive turnaround by his club.
“It was really a hard season, coming off back-to-back last-place finishes, so the joy right now is off the charts. We wanted to represent the Central League with pride, but the Buffaloes were extremely difficult opponents, so this was no easy task.”via Kyodo News
Takatsu, 53, originally signed with the White Sox as a free agent in 2004 and turned in a stellar campaign. Finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting, the right-hander earned 19 saves and became an instant sensation at U.S. Cellular Field. Shingo and his sidearm delivery went on to spend a portion of the ’05 season with the team before getting demoted and released by August. Over his two seasons in Chicago, the franchise’s first Japanese player went 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA (35 ER/91.0 IP), 82 strikeouts, 37 walks, 135 ERA+, and 1.176 WHIP.
Once word came out about the victory, the White Sox and Takatsu’s former manager Ozzie Guillen congratulated him via Twitter.
If you listen closely, you might even hear his infamous gong ring out on the South Side tonight. Congrats, Shingo!
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Featured Photo: Kyodo News