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[6/11/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Kazuhiro Wada reaches 2000-hit milestone

by on Jun.12, 2015 @ 12:27 am, under NPB

Kazuhiro Wada became the forty-fifth player in NPB history to reach the 2,000-hit milestone when he hit a single to left off Masatomo Uematsu in the 2nd inning of tonight's game against Lotte. At forty-two years and eleven months, he became the oldest player to reach the milestone. He joined Shinya Miyamoto and Atsuya Furuta as the only players in NPB history to reach the milestone after playing baseball at college and with an Industrial League team.

Other notes

  • He reached 2,000 hits in 1,903 games, eighteenth fastest to the milestone overall, and sixth fastest by a right-handed hitter
  • He is the eighth player with experience as a catcher to reach 2,000 hits
  • He became the first player to reach the milestone with hits in the four trips to the plate leading up to number 2000.
  • Through June 11, he had 1,032 hits with Seibu and 969 with Chunichi. Only two players currently have at least 1,000 hits in each league: Katsuo Osugi (CL: 1057, PL: 1171) and Hiromitsu Ochiai (CL: 1275, PL: 1096).
  • Of the forty-five players with 2,000 hits, he was the first to reach the milestone without every having recorded enough plate appearance to qualify for a hitting title until he turned thirty, and the only player without 1,000 hits before turning thirty-four.

Interview

Nikkan Sports

How do you feel right now?

I thought I was going to reach the milestone last year, so this is a little late.

A lot of Chunichi fans were at the game.

Having all those Dragons' fans [at the stadium] and hearing them cheer for me helped my game.

You were two hits away at the start of the game and recorded a timely hit in your first trip to the plate.

I thought my first at bat was going to be important. The bases were loaded with two out, so I was also pumped up for the at bat. That may have helped.

Did you feel anything when you stepped into the batter's box for your second at bat?

Not as much as I thought. I thought I might get nervous, or feel something special, but I was able to step in like I usually do. I wasn't as nervous as opening day.

You could argue that this might have been your best game this year.

That the team also win made things even better.

Your career batting average is over .300.

I haven't retired yet. I want to look back at my stats after I retire. This is the result of working hard and taking things one plate appearance at a time. Thirty percent means I made mistakes seventy percent of the time. Most of it is disappointment. I don't really remember any good memories.

Your family supported you.

A lot of things come to mind. Family, parents, support from all kinds of people. I came to Chunichi as a free agent. It's one of the reasons why I have been able to play for so long. I am grateful to Chunichi for taking me as a free agent.

Source: Sanspo 6/11/2015, Sanspo 6/11/2015, Daily Sports 6/11/2015, Sponichi 6/11/2015, Sponichi 6/11/2015, Sponichi 6/11/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/11/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/11/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/11/2015, Sponichi 6/12/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/12/2015

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Countdown to 2,000

Hit Game # Date Opponent Pitcher Venue
1   04/30/1997 Kintetsu Ito, Tsutomu Osaka Dome
1,000 939 09/08/2007 Nippon Ham Yoshikawa, Mitsuo Sapporo Dome
1,500 1362 09/03/2010 Yomiuri Utsumi, Tetsuya Nagoya Dome
2,000 1903 06/11/2015 Lotte Uematsu, Masatomo QVC Marine