It’s probably safe to say Yukihito Nakanishi’s life hasn’t turned out exactly ike the 37-year-old Kyoto native planned. A baseball player in his student days, he was selected by the Nippon Ham Fighters with the overall seventh pick in the 1996 draft, but struggled to raise his game to the level required to be a star, or even a regular, in the Nippon Professional Baseball league.

Nakanishi was cut in 2000, having never pitched in an official game. Still, he’s managed to transition to life as a non-professional athlete, finding a job and moving back to Kyoto. He even seems to have found a new hobby, fishing, which ordinarily would be great, except that the police are claiming that instead of going after bass or trout, Nakanishi recently cast his line in hopes of hooking the lingerie his neighbor had hung out to dry.

Given the cramped quarters of Japanese homes, it’s customary to hang your wet laundry outside. That’s actually why almost all houses and apartments in Japan are designed with balconies, which are used almost exclusively for a place to hang your wash.

According to police from Kyoto’s Yamashina Precinct, at 8:10 in the morning on January 29 Nakanishi, using a fishing rod, attempted to steal the underwear his neighbor had hung up to dry from her second-floor balcony. Reports don’t specify whether Nakanishi stands accused of trying to pilfer some panties or snag a bra, nor what sort of bait he was  using while attempting to haul in the perviest catch.

The former pitcher and graduate of Kyoto’s Higashiyama High School was formally arrested on March 10. Nakanishi has denied the charges, saying that he was simply “performing maintenance” on his fishing pole during the morning in question, which somehow involved having to protrude the rod far enough away from the second floor of his own home that it merely looked like he was trying to steal his neighbor’s undies.

It’ll be up to the court to decide upon the veracity of his words, but even if Nakanishi is found guilty of the attempted theft, one thing he can’t be accused of is buying into the common Japanese belief that a woman’s desirability immediately drops off once she passes her late 20s, as his neighbor is a mature 56-year-old woman.

Source: Nikkan Sports via Golden Times