Former Giant and Orion Koji Yamamoto passed away from liver cancer a few days ago. Yamamoto attended Hosei University and was drafted by Yomiuri in the fifth round of the fall 1975 draft from Honda Suzuka of the industrial leagues. He and Kiyoshi Nakahata split the starting first baseman job with the Giants in 1981 following Sadaharu Oh's retirement but Nakahata won the role by hitting .322 that year and Yamamoto started playing more in the outfield. He was traded to the Lotte Orions between the 1983 and 1984 seasons and was their regular first baseman for the next two seasons. He retired following the 1988 season and became a coach for Lotte. He managed the team (now called the Chiba Lotte Marines) from 1999 to 2003, finishing fourth three times and fifth twice before being replaced by Bobby Valentine. He coached for the Giants for a couple years after that and then became a baseball commentator.