Tokyo (AFP) - Former Major League Baseball slugger Manny Ramirez has joined Japanese independent league team the Kochi Fighting Dogs, the club said on its website.
The 44-year-old, who has also played in Taiwan after retiring from the major leagues in 2011 as one of only 25 players to pass 500 home runs, is set to play in the four-team Shikoku Island League on the smallest of Japan's four main islands.
The Fighting Dogs posted a picture of the Dominican Republic native Ramirez, describing him a little underwhelmingly as having been "active in Boston Red Sox etc."
Ramirez, in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, hit .352 with Taiwan's EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball in Taiwan in 2013, with eight home runs and 43 RBIs.
He finished his 19-year MLB career -- during which he played for the Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays -- with a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs -- both among the top 20 of all time.