” On the 4th (Korean time), Japan’s ‘Full Count’ played against Korean national team ‘BK’ Byung-Hyun Kim in the 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC) semifinal match. We delivered an interview with Kosuke Fukudome, who burst into the final two run four.
According to ‘Full Count’, Fukudome had no intention of competing in the 2006 WBC. This is because he was revising his batting form in earnest after the 2005 season ended. He was not in a situation where he could show his best performance. However, Sadaharu Oh (Wang Jeong-chi, president of Softbank Hawks), Japanese WBC manager, made Fukudome decide to participate in the WBC.
Anxiety became a reality. Fukudome struggled with 2 hits in 19 at-bats and a batting average of 0.105 in 6 matches before facing the Korean national team in the semifinals at the 2006 WBC. Fukudome, who suffered greatly, pictured the situation after returning to Japan. Fukudome said, “I thought I had to go back to Japan and prepare for the season.” 안전놀이터
Amid Fukudome’s successive slumps, Japan suffered two losses in the second round, and the chances of advancing to the semifinals became very slim. However, the U.S. suffered an unexpected defeat, and Japan managed to advance to the semi-final stage. However, Fukudome, who was suffering from severe sluggishness, was not listed in the starting lineup for the first time in the semifinal match against Korea.
However, Fukudome became a ‘hero’ with just one shot. Fukudome entered the plate with a pinch hit in the 7th inning against Korea in the semi-finals 0-0, with a chance to score with 1 out and 2 base. Coach Sadaharu Oh removed Fukudome from the starting list, who was in slump, but found him and hinted that he would “play as a pinch hitter in important situations,” and put it into action.
Fukudome pulled the 88 mile (approximately 141.6 km) ball formed in the middle of the strike zone in a head-to-head match with Kim Byung-hyun, and fired a superior two-run home run. Fukudome said, “Kim Byung-hyun’s ball seemed to be fast, but he was unexpectedly cool.” recalled.
Japan scored 5 points only in the 7th inning and advanced to the final stage. Japan, which gained momentum, won the first WBC championship trophy by capturing Cuba in a row in the final. Fukudome, who helped Japan win the championship, said, “When I lost the game, I thought a lot, ‘I came as a national team, what did I do?’, but I felt strongly that I was playing baseball again.” 17 years have passed However, he expressed his vivid impressions.
Fukudome also stepped on the major league stage based on WBC’s performance in 2006, and in 2023 Japanese professional baseball games, 1952 hits, 285 home runs, 1078 RBIs, 1040 runs, a batting average of 0.286 OPS 0.865, and 498 hits and 42 home runs in 596 games over 5 seasons in the major leagues. He took off his active uniform last September, leaving 195 RBIs, 264 runs, a batting average of 0.258 OPS and 0.754.