Kosuke Fukudome, a former big leaguer and the oldest active NPB player at 45, will retire at the end of the season, the Central League's Chunichi Dragons said Thursday.

The left-handed hitter spent five years in the majors from 2008 with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, logging a total of 498 hits and 42 home runs in 596 games.

The outfielder joined the Dragons in 1999 as their top draft pick out of the corporate leagues and won the CL batting title twice as well as the league's MVP award in 2006 before joining the Cubs as a free agent.

He returned to Japan in 2013 with the CL's Hanshin Tigers before re-signing with Chunichi ahead of the 2021 season.

With less than a month left to go in the NPB season, Fukudome has a total of 2,450 hits in NPB and the majors combined. In NPB alone, he has batted .286 with 285 home runs and 1,078 RBIs in 2,022 games.