Hochi Shimbun Co., Ltd.
Outfielder Masanao Yoshida of Orix wins the 23rd Golden Spirit Award [Hochi Shimbun]
“Outside the ballpark MVP” 100,000 yen per home run donated to children in developing countries
Orix’s Masanao Yoshida has been selected as the 23rd winner of the “Golden Spirit Award” established by Hochi Shimbun to recognize the social contribution activities of professional baseball players. Since 2019, 100,000 yen for each home run hit in official games and donations from fans have been collected and donated to children suffering from poverty in developing countries through the authorized NPO Children Without Borders. We were evaluated for our continuous efforts.
Orix Yoshida outfielder who won the 23rd Golden Spirit Award [Selection process]
The selection committee, which targeted a total of 15 people nominated from 11 teams, was a fierce battle, saying, “There has never been a year when the content was so fulfilling and difficult.” Discussions progressed from the perspectives of the continuity, uniqueness, and breadth of activities, and Orix Yoshida, who has been nominated for three consecutive years, Giants Kanno, who has also been nominated for four consecutive years, and Nippon-Ham, who has been active for eight years. Miyanishi, Hanshin Nishi, who was nominated for the sixth time in total, including the Orix era, received high evaluations from each committee. Yoshida is “the only one among the candidates this time who is supported overseas” (Member Yoda), and Kanno, who continues to support the spread of service dogs, “has raised the level of awareness of fields that are unfamiliar” (Member Saito). Opinions advocating originality came one after another. In addition, Miyanishi, who is working on donations according to the results of himself and his bullpen friends, said, “Amid concerns about the division of society, the theme is to connect with those around us.” In addition to donating to the Children’s Support Project, the wide range of activities was highly evaluated, saying, “There is mobility, such as donating masks (shortage due to the corona crisis)” (Member Mitsuya).
Internationality was the deciding factor. “Activities from a global perspective can also be an opportunity for young people to start contributing to society,” said Sayama, making Yoshida the first Orix winner.
-Masanao Yoshida- (Yoshida Masataka) Born on July 15, 1993 in Fukui Prefecture. 29-year-old. After going through Tsuruga Kehi High School and Seigaku University, he joined Orix in 15th place in the 15th draft. Leading hitter in 2020 and 2021, highest on-base percentage for 2 years in a row this season, best nine 4 times. Japan representative at Premier 12 in 2019 and Tokyo Olympics in 2020. A total of 762 games, a batting average of 30%, 2 minutes and 7 minutes, 133 homers, and 467 RBIs. 173 cm, 85 kg. Right-handed and left-handed. This season’s annual salary is 400 million yen. married.
Munetaka Murakami (Yakult)
Since 2019, every year since 2019, we have been donating funds to Kumamoto City, which was severely damaged by the earthquake that struck Kumamoto in April 2016, for the restoration of Kumamoto Castle. Donations are set according to performance, such as 10,000 yen for each home run and 5,000 yen for each RBI.
Yuki Nishi (Hanshin)
Since 2011, when he was at ORIX, he has continued to donate to the Nippon Foundation Children’s Support Project with the desire to “do something for the children who will support the future.” In 2020 after transferring to Hanshin, he donated 50,000 medical masks (equivalent to 5 million yen) to hospitals in Osaka and Hyogo.
Yuta Iwasada (Hanshin)
After the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, he wanted to contribute to the local community, and since 2017 he has donated money and equipment according to his own performance as “earthquake reconstruction support” and “baseball promotion for children.” (100,000 yen per win, 1 dozen softballs per strikeout, etc.).
Tomoyuki Sugano (Giant)
Knowing that service dogs are not well known and that many restaurants still refuse to accompany them, the company began providing support in 2015. In addition to donating money to the Japan Service Dog Association, interacting with service dog users, and appearing on the association’s posters and website, it also contributes to raising awareness.
Yoshihiro Maru (Giant)
In 2021, we will start the “Maru Meshi Project” to support the “food” of children in poor households in Tokyo. When I was a child, I loved meal time, so I decided to help when I learned that there were children who couldn’t eat enough.
Kazuma Okamoto (Giant)
As a dog lover and animal lover, he started the “HAPPY ANIMAL Project” in 2021 to support animals that have been abandoned or abused. A wide range of support such as “support money”, “PR activities”, and “development of charity goods”.
Yoshitaka Isomura (Hiroshima)
I have a family member who uses a wheelchair, and since this year I have been inviting wheelchair users to the stadium after realizing how great the Mazda Stadium is for barrier-free facilities and the staff’s support. In addition, we are also holding a remote exchange meeting to cheer up hospitalized patients now in the corona misfortune. Yudai Ohno (Chunichi)
Since 2017, he has been inviting parents and children from
single-parent families in the same situation to the stadium since he was raised by a single woman. Meals, drinks, and original goods were also provided, and over the past six years, we have been able to bring smiles to 559 single-parent families.
Keisuke Tanimoto (Chunichi)
When my mother took care of my grandfather, I learned that a care worker was very supportive, and in 2017, when I was in the Nippon Ham era, I named it “Ana Tanimon Seat” and started inviting care workers to the stadium. Also this year, I encouraged students who aim to become care workers through online talks.
Katsuya Kakunaka (Lotte)
As a charity activity for local Ishikawa Prefecture, from the 2019 season, 10,000 yen per hit is donated to the social welfare
corporation Ishikawa Prefecture Community Chest. Donations are used to support people with disabilities in Ishikawa Prefecture through the organization.
Since 2013, we have continued to hold baseball classes, visit schools, and visit children’s hospitals in the disaster area. Every year, he visits Sendai House, an accommodation facility for children
hospitalized in hospitals far from home and their accompanying families, to encourage the parents and children.
Kodai Senga (Softbank)
In 2018, when he became a father of two children, he started supporting the Orange Ribbon Movement, which is working to prevent child abuse. Strikeout x 10,000 yen donated to the NPO Child Abuse Prevention National Network. He has an orange ribbon embroidered on his glove.
Naoki Miyanishi (Nippon-Ham)
From 2015, the number of holds and saves recorded by an individual per year x 10,000 yen will be added up by the relief staff of the team and donated to an organization that supports people who have difficulty communicating due to incurable diseases. Since 2018, we have been donating to the “Hokkaido Children’s Hospice Project” and are supporting the construction plan.
Tatsushi Masuda (Seibu)
Since his own child, who was a very low birth weight, was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), 20,000 yen will be sent to the Osaka Maternal and Child Medical Center and to the Ronald McDonald House Saitama for each pitch. Donated 10,000 yen. Before Corona, I was also going to comfort you off.
◇Golden Spirit Award
Awarded to those who actively continue to contribute to society from among those who belong to a Japanese professional baseball team. A selection committee (committee name is listed separately) is held once a year, and one candidate is selected from the candidates recommended by the team and the selection committee. In the sports world in Europe and the United States, social contribution activities are highly evaluated, and among them, the “Roberto Clemente Award” of the US Major League Baseball is famous, and it has become an object of admiration for major leaguers as the highest award in the baseball world. In Japan, most of the awards are based on performance in the game, and it is the first time for an award system to evaluate achievements outside the stadium. So to speak, “MVP outside the stadium”. Winners will receive a golden trophy (bronze statue made by Koji Kinutani, professor emeritus at Tokyo University of the Arts) and the Yuji Abe Award (1 million yen). In addition, Hochi Shimbun will donate 2 million yen to organizations and facilities designated by the winners.
◇Golden Spirit Award winners
1st (1999) Giant Hideki Matsui
2nd (2000) Nippon-Ham, Atsushi Kataoka
3rd (2001) Kintetsu Norihiro Nakamura
4th (2002) Yakult Tetsuya Iida
5th (2003) Chunichi / Kazuki Inoue
6th (2004) Hanshin/Akahoshi Norihiro
7th (2005) Lotte B. Valentine
8th (2006) SoftBank / Tsuyoshi Wada
9th (2007) Yokohama Daisuke Miura
10th (2008) Rakuten/Hisashi Iwakuma
11th (2009) Giant Michihiro Ogasawara
12th (2010) Nippon-Ham Darvish Yu
13th (2011) Rakuten Takeshi Yamazaki
14th (2012) Hanshin/Kyuji Fujikawa
15th (2013) Yakult Shinya Miyamoto
16th (2014) Seibu Takumi Kuriyama
17th (2015) Lotte Imae Toshiaki
18th (2016) Giant Tetsuya Utsumi
19th (2017) Hanshin Minoru Iwata
20th (2018) Lotte Tadahito Iguchi
21st (2019) Seibu Shogo Akiyama
22nd (2021) Hanshin Yodai Yano
(Affiliation team at the time of award)
Organizer Hochi Shimbun
Sponsor Nippon Professional Baseball Organization
Sponsors i Investment Co., Ltd., Canon Marketing Japan Co., Ltd., Toyo Holdings Co., Ltd., Insurance Information Service Co., Ltd., Okada Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Yoshiharu Otsuka Honorary President of the Japanese Red Cross Society Atsushi Saito Professional Baseball Commissioner
Kazuo Sayama: A non-fiction writer. He has a deep knowledge of the American Major League Baseball. One of the proponents of the Golden Spirit Award. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021. Shigeo Nagashima Honorary Director of the Yomiuri Giants for life. In 1982, he became the first professional baseball player in Japan to have an audience with Pope John Paul II. In 1988, he received the Vatican Meritorious Cross from the Vatican City.
Yuko Miya: President of the Japan Basketball Association. Won a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics as a member of the Japanese women’s volleyball team.
Hirohiko Yoda President and Representative Director of Hochi Shimbun (honorific titles omitted/in Japanese syllabary order)
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