Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kazuya Fukuura

I'm late in getting to this but back on September 22nd Kazuya Fukuura of the Marines became the latest member of the 2000 hit club.  Fukuura has spent his entire career with Lotte - he was their seventh round pick in the fall 1993 draft out of Narashino High School.  He was originally drafted as a pitcher but shoulder issues forced him to convert to a position player in July of 1994.  He didn't make his debut with the ichi-gun Marines until 1997 so he never pitched for the top team.  He led the Pacific League in hitting in 2001, becoming the first player other than Ichiro to lead the league since 1993 (it didn't hurt that Ichiro was in Seattle by then).  He played in the annual All Star series three times - 2000, 2004 and 2005 - and was selected for the 2006 team but didn't play due to injury.  He won Golden Glove awards in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and a Best 9 award in 2010.  He's played in two Nippon Series for the Marines in 2005 and 2010.  He's never played for Team Japan in any international tournaments although he has played against the MLB All Stars in a couple of the post-season All Star series in the early 00's.

Here's a selection of cards of Fukuura from throughout his career:

1994 BBM #529

1998 Calbee #173

2001 Upper Deck #170

2002 BBM 1st Version #376

2004 BBM All Stars #A58

2006 BBM 1st Version #GG3

2007 Calbee #030

2010 BBM Nippon Series #S21

2011 BBM 1st Version #368

2015 BBM Marines #M74

2018 Epoch NPB #201


SumoMenkoMan said...

Do you think he has it in him to reach 3000 hits?

NPB Card Guy said...

So there's only been one guy to ever get 3000 hits in NPB - Isao Harimoto. Fukuura will be 43 in a couple months and I don't know if the Marines plan to keep him around so I'm going to go with "no".

SumoMenkoMan said...

Gotcha. I’m trying to gauge what make a player HOF worthy. This guys seems to have it.