On Kosuke Fukudome’s 46th birthday, we revisit his memorable MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs.
Cubs fans were introduced to Kosuke Fukudome on March 31st, 2008. The outfielder began his professional career in 1999 with the Chunchi Dragons of Japan. Although he only played four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, the fan-favorite made his presence known on Opening Day in 2008.
The Cubs’ home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers went 8 innings without a run. In the top of the 9th, the Brewers racked up 3 runs via a Ryan Braun RBI single and a Corey Hart 2-RBI double. The Cubs went to the bottom of the 9th with Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Kosuke Fukudome due up. After Lee singled and Ramirez drew a walk, Fukudome stepped into the box against Eric Gagne.
Still remember this like it was yesterday. 10 years ago today, Kosuke Fukudome makes MLB debut with the #Cubs, goes 3-for-3, including a game-tying 3-run HR in the bottom of the 9th inning on Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/CXkKFbjekR
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) March 31, 2018
Unfortunately, the Cubs would lose this game in 10 innings. Even though it was a loss, fans still find this game extremely memorable. Kosuke Fukudome had won fans over with this 3-hit, 3 RBI performance. Even today, fans can still spot the occasional Fukudome #1 jersey in the stands of Wrigley Field.
Many may be surprised to learn that Kosuke Fukudome retired from professional baseball just last year. At 45 years old, Fukudome played his final season with the Chunchi Dragons who he debuted with in 1999. As his career went on, he never seemed to lose his patented bat flip either.
This is incredible. Old friend Kosuke Fukudome is now 43 years old … and he's still hitting game-winning home runs over in Japan. pic.twitter.com/g4hcFLrZ1l
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 16, 2020
Kosuke Fukudome played 513 games with the Chicago Cubs over 3.5 seasons. He tallied 432 hits to go with 37 homers and 169 RBIs during this time. Cubs fans will always remember Fukudome’s time with the Cubs but might try to forget his 24 games with the Chicago White Sox in 2012.
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