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Japanese ballplayer finds new life in Japan league

Date Posted: 2005-02-04

Life is never to late.

Denny Tomori is a Japanese baseball player who is finding himself with a big future in the United States.

The 37-year-old began as a pitcher with the Yokohama Baystars of the Japan Professional League, but is quickly finding himself with his “dream come true.” Tomori, an Okinawa native, has been signed to a $200,000 contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Since his 1997 start, Tomori’s built to a 17 wins – 4 losses and eight saves record with the Seibu Orion last season. Inking the American contract comes officially February 13th. With the newfound contract comes increased media interest. About 37% of the questions center around his age, asking “aren’t you too old to be playing?” His answer is “It’s never too late to play baseball. I have the self confidence to play, and I’m going to win.” He says he’d not be in the spotlight today if he wasn’t a very positive person. In the Japan Professional League, the focus is on youth.

Tomori says he doesn’t feel his age at all. Asked who he wants to play with, or against, he responds quickly. “Who do you think? What do you think about the Yankees and superstar Hideki Matsui?” Tomori calls himself a “beginner,” and says he’s just looking forward to his first game in a Sox uniform.

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