|Hiroshima Toyo Carp – No. 75|
August 25, 1970 |
Sano, Tochigi, Japan
|April 13, 1989 for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales|
Takuro Ishii (石井 琢朗 Ishii Takurō?, born August 25, 1970, came from Sano, Tochigi, Japan) is a Japanese professional baseball player. He currently plays for Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
Ishii was regarded as one of the best Japanese shortstops of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Though his stats have lately declined due to age, he still contributes with his precise fielding and solid batting abilities, as well as his leadership as a veteran player.
Ishii entered the professional leagues with the Yokohama Taiyo Whales, and has been with the team for his entire career (The team changed their name to the Yokohama BayStars in 1993).
His wife is FujiTV announcer Shiori Arase. He has two children, born in 2002 and 2005. His former wife is Azusa Senou, who was a member of Coco (group). They were married from 1996 to 2000, but she left him because he frequently cheated on her with other women. Correspondingly, one famous incident occurred in 2000 when well-known NHK announcer Yumiko Udo was photographed coming out of Takuro's apartment in the early hours or the morning disguised wearing a wig.
- Ishii joined the Yokohama Taiyo Whales from outside the draft in 1988. His uniform number was 66.
- He played as a pitcher during his early career, and marked his first professional victory in 1989. He also got a hit in his first victory.
- Ishii compiled a record of 1-4, with a 5.69 ERA in his three years as a pitcher.
- Ishii converted to the infield in 1992. He became the team's regular third baseman in the same year.
- His team changed its name to the Yokohama BayStars, and he changed his uniform number to 0 in 1993. He played a full season at third base, batting second. He won the Central League Golden Glove award and led the league in steals.
- He changed his number to 5 in 1994.
- He played in the all-star game for the first time in 1995. He would become an all-star in 1997 to 2001 for five consecutive seasons (a total six times).
- He switched from third base to shortstop in 1996.
- Ishii began to bat first in 1997. He received a Best Nine award as the best shortstop in the Central League in 1997. He would receive this award for five consecutive years, until 2001.
- The Yokohama Baystars won the Central League pennant, as well as the Japanese Championship Series in 1998 (38 years after their last championship in 1960). Ishii led the league in steals and hits, and received his fourth Golden Glove award at shortstop.
- Marked 1000 career hits, 1000 games played, and 200 career steals in 1999.
- He led the league in steals for three consecutive seasons (1998~2000).
- Led the league in hits for the second time in his career in 2001.
- Ishii went into a huge slump in 2003, getting less than 100 hits in a season for the first time since 1992.
- Ishii reversed his slump in 2004, matching his career high in home runs.
- He started every single game in 2005 batting first, and playing shortstop. He also played in every inning.
- In 2006, he played in every inning of all 146 season games for the second year in a row. He also tied his career high for single season hits.
- Ishii got his 2000th career hit on May 11, 2006 in his first at-bat against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He was the 34th player in Japanese baseball, and the 2nd player who has a win as a pitcher to reach the milestone.
- Ishii had knee surgery during the 2006 off-season, and was removed from a game on April 1, ending his full-inning play record at 339 games (second most among active players).
- Best Nine Award: 1997~2001 (shortstop)
- Golden Glove Award: 1993~1995 (third base), 1998 (shortstop)
- All-Star: 1995, 1997–2001
- 2000th hit: May 11, 2006
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from Japanesebaseball.com