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Softbank Hawks: Hiroki Kokubo collects 2,000th career hit in first game back

by on Jun.24, 2012 @ 3:20 pm, under NPB

Hiroki Kokubo collected his 2,000th career hit off the first pitch he saw from Brian Wolfe (Nippon Ham) in the bottom of the 4th inning of today's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Kokubo is:

  • the forty-first player in NPB history to reach the milestone
  • the third player to reach the milestone this season (behind Atsunori Inaba and Shinya Miyamoto)
  • the tenth player out of college to reach the milestone
  • the third oldest player to reach the milestone: Miyamoto was forty-one years and five months; Hiromitsu Ochiai was forty-one years and four months; and Kokubo is forty-years and eight months
  • the fourteenth player to record 2,000 hits and have at least 400 homers

Source: Asahi Shimbun 6/24/2012, Sponichi 6/24/2012

The Hawks have opened up a section on their website that commemorates Kokubo's 2,000 hit.

Other notes:

  • Kokubo plans to give his mother his 2,000th hit baseball.  Source: Sponichi 6/25/2012
  • He reached the milestone thirty-three days after recording his 1,999th hit.  Source: Sponichi 6/25/2012
  • He received around 280 congratulatory e-mails.  During a guest appearance on KBC Kyushu Asahi's News Pia, Kokubo said he was not thinking about retirement.  Source: Nikkan Sports 6/25/2012
  • He ordered about three hundred of his bats and will personalize each with a message and an autograph.  He plans to give these out to various people that have helped him.  Source: Sports Hochi 6/26/2012
  • Wakayama Prefecture is planning to present Kokubo with some sort of award during the off-season.  They may even opt to create a new award.  Kokubo has already received the Prefecture's Sports Award in 2007.  Source: Nikkan Sports 6/26/2012

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Countdown to 2,000

Hit Game # Date Opponent Pitcher Venue
1 2 4/10/1994 Orix Koji Noda Green Stadium Kobe
1,000 1008 9/27/2002 Seibu Mitsutaka Goto Yahoo Dome
1,500 1480 9/15/2007 Nippon Ham Shintaro Ejiri Yahoo Dome
2,000 1997 6/24/2012 Nippon Ham Brian Wolfe Yahoo Dome