Takatsu has 286 career saves in the NPB, all for the Swallows in 598 games, as well as earning the nickname Mr. Zero for never having given up a run in his 11 Japan Series appearances.
His two stints at the Swallows were broken up by a two year spell in the MLB in 2004 and 2005, where he plied his trade to varying degrees of success for the Chicago White Sox and the New York Mets.
He was cast aside by the Swallows at the end of last season, but it was the manner of his release which upset many Yakult fans as he was given no special send off by the organisation. It was simply announced by the front office after the season had ended, meaning fans had no chance to say farewell to Shingo and show their appreciation to one of the team’s all-time legends.
Good luck in Korea Shingo, hopefully you’ll make it back to Jingu one day so that the fans can give you the sendoff that you deserve.