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Ex-slugger Ramirez joins independent league team in Kochi

Jiji-Japan News Former major league slugger Manny Ramirez will return to the baseball field at age 44 after agreeing to join the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the independent Shikoku Island League Plus, the team announced Monday.

The length of the contract and the right-handed-hitting outfielder’s date of arrival in Japan are still being negotiated.

Ramirez, a Dominican Republic native who hit 555 home runs during his major league career, won both batting and home run titles while playing for the Boston Red Sox. He later played for several other teams and last played in the major leagues in 2011.

In a statement released by the club, Ramirez said he had a strong desire to play in Japan. He added that he was grateful to the team for giving him the chance to continue his career.

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