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Kiyohara Reaches 2,000 Hits, 500 HRs Next

Discussion in the Records and Milestones forum
Kiyohara Reaches 2,000 Hits, 500 HRs Next
As many of you who have been reading The Game of the Week for the past few weeks know, the Giants' veteran first baseman Kiyohara Kazuhiro has been approaching 2,000 career hits for the past couple of weeks. And he's been doing it one home run at a time, marking over half of his hits on the season as home runs. There was some disappointment that he didn't clear the magic 2,000 on Thursday against Chunichi at Tokyo Dome, but he wasted no time at Jingu the next day, June 4, 2004, singling to center in the top of the first to become the 31st player to reach this milestone.

So, what's next for Kiyohara? Why, his 500th career home run, of course. At the time that he hit his career 2,000th base hit, Kiyo was 11 home runs shy of 500. But that count down didn't have long to wait to start coming down. In the top of the 9th with two down and nobody on, and the Giants trailing by a score of 7-3, the slugger hit home run #10 of the season to the Giants' oen-dan in left, #490 of his career.

I've seen the newspapers play up some record or another on a number of occasions for a number of different players/teams. But I have never before seen the first four pages dedicated to a single player, which is what Nikkan Sports did on Saturday for Kiyohara. (Saturday and Sunday usually have keiba (horse racing) on the front page.)

Against numerous injury and scandal, and not even winning a single batting title in his 19 year career, Kiyohara is far and away one of the biggest hits with the fans and players alike. Even Watanabe-owner, who has had his share of negative things to say about Kiyohara, had nothing but praise for Kiyohara's perseverance. I'm no Kiyohara fan myself, but 2,000 hits is no small feat, nor will 500 home runs be when he reaches it - and I've got more confidence that he will reach it now than I would have had a year or two ago. When he connects, Kiyohara can really hit that ball.
Re: Kiyohara Reaches 2,000 Hits, 500 HRs Next
[ Author: WayneMcGwire | Posted: Oct 6, 2004 4:55 PM ]

He must be sad about his career till now. As stated he is a "batting king without title." Besides, as I remember, many of his batting records ranked number 2 for many seasons. But since he rarely had chance to chase a single season record, I think he must be happy to have an all-time record at least. (Many players finished career with only one title for one season. Can you say they are stronger than Kiyohara?) I think nobody can doubt that he will be entering the Japan Hall of Fame.

Besides, in my personal opinion, he should join a team other than the Giants if he is thinking of getting a better all-time record before retirement. I know many players must be proud of that, just as those who want to finish their career with the Yankees in MLB and those who is eager to join Elephant Team in CPBL here (Taiwan). The Giants are a team with many famous players who can't have many chances to play. (Hirosawa is such a case before his retirement.) So if he goes to another team now, maybe he can have a fixed position in the batting order, and thus, accumulate more records, because time is money.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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