A decade after his final major league game, former Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is ready to hang up his cleats.
Fukudome had returned to Japan after his time stateside, furthering his legacy in Nippon Professional Baseball. Now, at 45 years old, the long time star is set to retire at the end of the season, with his retirement ceremony coming in one of the Chunichi Dragons’ games against the Yomiuri Giants during their final homestand.
Looking back at former Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome
There is no questioning what Fukudome meant in Japan. He had a storied career, a four time All Star and four time member of the Best Nine. Fukudome won five Gold Glove awards, was the Central League MVP in 2006, and took home two batting titles. Overall, he posted a .286/.379/.486 batting line in his 7968 NPB plate appearances, hitting 285 homers and 409 doubles.
Although he did not have the same level of success stateside, Fukudome was still a solid player. He had produced a respectable .258/.359/.395 batting line in 2276 plate appearances, hitting 42 homers and 111 doubles. He was an All Star as a rookie in 2008, a steady option in the outfield during his time in the majors.
These days, Fukudome is essentially a pinch hitter for the Dragons. He has appeared in just 22 games, receiving 29 plate appearances. Fukudome has struggled as his age has caught up with him as he has just one hit and four walks, striking out 11 times. He just has nothing left in the tank.
However, he is going to be able to go out on his terms. He will get one last game against the Giants and it would not be a surprise to see him make an appearance against the Hanshin Tigers, the other NPB tea, that he had suited up for.
Time awaits no man. That includes former Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who is set to retire after an illustrious NPB career.