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[ODDS and EVENS] Hiroki Kuroda Made His Mark as a Durable, Consistent Pitcher

Chosen for induction into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2024, Hiroki Kuroda helped the Hiroshima Carp reach the Japan Series in his final season, 2016.



Hiroki Kuroda
Hiroshima Carp right-hander Hiroki Kuroda fires a pitch to a Tokyo Yakult Swallows batter on March 29, 2015, at Mazda Stadium. Kuroda retired in 2016 with a combined 203 career victories in NPB and MLB. (ⒸSANKEI)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ODDS and EVENS] Hiroki Kuroda Made His Mark as a Durable, Consistent Pitcher

In a 20-year career as a professional baseball pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda won 10 or more games in 13 different seasons. It was a telling sign, indicative of his work ethic and talent.

When he retired following the 2016 Japan Series, Kuroda had 203 regular-season victories (124 with the Hiroshima Carp and another 79 with MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees). He was one of the most recognizable Japanese pitchers of his generation, year in and year out.

Kuroda, an Osaka native, is one of three men who'll be honored as new inductees into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2024, it was announced on Thursday, January 18. The date for the ceremony will be announced at a later time, according to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Hiroki Kuroda
The 2024 Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame class includes Hiroki Kuroda (left) and Motonbu Tanishige. (KYODO)

Hiroki Kuroda
Motonobu Tanishige (left) and Hiroki Kuroda shake hands at the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on January 18. (ⒸSANKEI)

The 2024 Hall of Fame Class

Kuroda will be recognized along with retired catcher Motonobu Tanishige (1989-2015), who appeared in an NPB record 3,021 games, and the late umpire Tomoichi Tanimura, who worked 3,000-plus NPB games through 1986, and passed away in July 2022 at age 94.

For Kuroda, his Hall of Fame selection is a fitting tribute, a crowning achievement. In addition to being a beloved former star in Hiroshima, Kuroda also became only the third player in franchise history to have his jersey number (15) retired, joining outfielder Koji Yamamoto (8) and third baseman Sachio Kinugasa (3), who retired years before he made his pro debut.

Hiroki Kuroda
Hiroki Kuroda speaks during a news conference on January 18 at the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo. (ⒸSANKEI)

Hiroki Kuroda Grateful to Become a Hall of Famer

Reacting to the news of his selection as a Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer, Kuroda offered words of thanks to countless people who've supported him over the years.

"During my 20 years of active baseball, I faced more than 10,000 hitters during my career, in Japan and the United States, and had friendly competition with many great players, both friend and foe," Kuroda, a five-time NPB All-Star, said, according to NHK, on Thursday.


"I would like to express my gratitude to all those who were involved in my career."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven

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