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Fri, 28 Dec 2007

LA Dodgers acquire Japanese hurler - Hiroki Kuroda.

Hiroki Kuroda finally made his decision to switch from a gRedh SSK glove to a gBlueh SSK glove when he signed 3-year deal with his favorite American childhood team. During a press conference on Dec. 16 in Dodger Stadium where a huge outfield TV screen featured gTHE LOS ANGELS DOGERS WELCOME HIROKI KURODAh, he mentioned that he is very excited to become a member of LA Dodgers and to be a part of Dodger Blue as soon as possible.

Hiroki has been wearing a SSK glove since he entered an elite baseball high school in Osaka. After he graduated from college in Tokyo, he was drafted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese Central League where he posted a 103-89 record and a 3.69 ERA in 271 games during his 11-season tenure. Last season, the 32-year old right-handed pitcher went 12 – 8 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 games, including seven complete games. (Note: Japanese pro teams play 144 games during the regular season). Kuroda was named the leaguefs Most Valuable Pitcher and earned a Gold Glove Award in 2005.

Hiroki only played for the Carp, Hiroshima team his entire professional career and was recognized as a franchise player by the fanatic fans in western part of Japan. The team color has been gRedh for many years. The six-foot, one inch, 190 pounder wore a red SSK glove to match his uniform. Now it is time for him to switch to blue. He also changes his uniform number from #15 to #18. Hiroki Kuroda will definitely draw a lot of Japanese fans in Southern California after following the same path as dominant closer, Takashi Saito.

SSK is proud and thrilled that Hiroki will play for one of the most popular big league teams for the next three seasons. We wish him well in seeking to help bring a World Series Championship Trophy to the LA Dodgers after a 20-year drought since the Dodgers won it all in 1988.

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