Yamada (center) who was nominated
as Saitama Seibu at the draft meeting
is tossed by his teammates.
October 24, 2014
"I have never given up playing baseball."
Yamada Haruka (山田遥楓), 18, a senior of the Saga Industrial High School in Saga Prefecture, was nominated by the Saitama Seibu Lions as the 5th place at the professional baseball draft commission on October 23.
He, a slugging shortstop with a strong arm, is hearing loss since he was born. He began playing baseball when he was a second grader at elementary school under the influence of his elder brother.
Yamada belonged to the hard-ball baseball club in his junior high school days. Because it was not allowed to stand on an at-bat for reasons of hearing loss depending on a convention, he felt "humiliated" of only being on defense.
He chose Saga Industrial High Schoo that has experienced total participation of three times at the National High School Baseball Conference (Koshien), and practiced batting hard at the school as well as his home.
Although he was not able to achieve results at the time of admission to the school in spring, he was a regular baseball player since the autumn of the first year at the school exceeding 100 teammates. He became a principal hitter when he was a senior.
Pitcher Ishii Hironari of Hokkaido Nippon Meat Packers is hearing loss in the field of professional baseball. Yamada swore at the press conference, "I will do my best in giving a dream to the children with hearing loss like myself" .