Former major league pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was announced as one of the newest members of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, along with catcher Motonobu Tanishige and late umpire Tomoichi Tanimura.
Kuroda won a total of 203 games in a career split between Japan and the majors from 1997 to 2016. The right-hander won 124 games for the Hiroshima Carp, 41 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and 38 for the New York Yankees.
The right-hander's 15 wins in 2005 tied for the Central League lead with Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi of the Hanshin Tigers. A year later, Kuroda posted a CL-best 1.85 ERA.
"I would like to express my gratitude to everyone," the 48-year-old Kuroda said. "I faced more than 10,000 hitters during my career. I worked hard with teammates and against opponents. Many people were involved in my career. Many fans cheered me on."
Kuroda chose to return to Japan for his last two seasons in Hiroshima, despite the possibility of being able to earn a much bigger salary in MLB than what the Carp offered him.
Tanishige owns the record for career games played in Japanese pro baseball with 3,021 over a 27-year career spent with the then Yokohama Taiyo Whales and Yokohama BayStars, and finally the Chunichi Dragons, through 2015.
Tanimura umpired 3,026 games until 1986 and was named to officiate in 11 Japan Series.