G. McConway
July 19, 2023

Japanese Baseball Star Dies at 28

A very popular baseball player in Japan has passed away.

Shintaro Yokota, a former professional baseball player in Hanshin, had been suffering from various illnesses since he left the game that he loved so much.

This week, it was announced that he had passed away from a brain tumor on July 18.

He's gone

Yokota was famous for an assist he made from centerfield that had become known as the "miracle back home." Yokota threw a laser to get the out, and the play would quickly become part of his legacy.

The Teller Report stated, "Shintaro Yokota, a former professional baseball player in Hanshin who had been battling illness since his playing days, died of a brain tumor on the morning of the 18th. He was 28 years old.

"Yokota is from Kagoshima Prefecture and joined Hanshin from Kagoshima Jitsugyo in the second round of the 2013 draft.

"In his third year as a professional, he started the season opener at the center, and was expected to be a candidate for the future center field."

That season, however, he started to complain about headaches, and he was later diagnosed with a brain tumor, forcing his leave from baseball.

Ryutaro Umeno, who was drafted in 2013 with Yokota, stated, "He is a junior like a really friendly and interesting younger brother, who entered the professional world and started his professional baseball career with a pledge to 'let's do our best together,' and Yokota was impressive in the indoor practice field of the dormitory, and we fought together in the season when Yokota made his first professional start in the opening game."

Yet another future star athlete taken long before his time. I cannot help but wonder what caused that brain tumor.

Hopefully, we will get some answers from the autopsy.

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