Sato joined the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks at age 28, but did not live up to expectations with the team. He was traded to the Yakult Swallows in 1996, and played in 113 games in 1999, marking a .341 batting average. He also broke the team record with 25 consecutive game hits.
He was relegated to pinch-hitting duty afterwards, and retired after the 2005 season at age 40. He currently works as a batting coach under Tokyo Yakult Swallows manager Junji Ogawa.