Article Translation – 5th Time’s a Charm for “Mr. Autumn”

The original article can be found here 元の記事はこちら by Shinya Komatsu

Breaking the curses of the past. He wants to experience “that moment” – winning the Japan Series – and prove that the “fifth time’s a charm.” On the 22nd, Hanshin outfielder Kosuke Fukudome had his eyes on the prize – his first championship.

“The past is in the past. This year is this year. It’s important for me to stay on top of things. I want to be focused on the games at hand.”

While a member of the Chunichi Dragons, the team made it to the Japan Series four times but because of injuries, he only actually played in his rookie year (1999) and in 2006. He was unable to overcome various obstacles in those two years. Now in his second year back in Nippon Professional Baseball, the opportunity has presented itself again. What a feeling to be back on the big stage!

He’s in great shape, too. In the First Stage of the Climax Series (CS) against Hiroshima, he gave the team great momentum with his game-winning home run in the oh-so-important Game 1 at Koshien. In the Final Stage he was also able to hit a bomb, tallying two RBIs.

This season his numbers left something to be desired, as he hit .253 with 9 HRs and 34 RBI, but in 21 September games, he exploded, hitting .357 (25-for-70) with 4 HRs and 13 RBIs. The veteran has hit his stride at just the right time as the team prepares for the championship round. On this day, he was working on his swing.

“Just trying to get rid of fatigue but also do what I have to do (to be ready).”

He’s been hitting well behind the clean-up hitters, batting sixth. His bat will no doubt be a huge factor in determining which team wins. If “Mr. Autumn” can break free from his own history, he will simultaneously write a new page into the Tigers’ history books.

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