|First baseman/Third baseman|
October 8, 1971 |
|NPB: April 9, 1994 for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks|
|Last professional appearance|
|October, 2012 for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Last update: 23 July 2010|
|Competitor for Japan|
Kokubo was one of Japan's leading power hitters during the 1990s and early 2000s. He hit over 40 home runs in 2001 and 2004, but has only led the league in the category once (1995), with only 28 home runs. He also led the league in RBIs in 1997.
He was suddenly given away to the Yomiuri Giants in 2003, despite being the team's cleanup hitter. Kokubo was seemingly given away for free, since the Giants did not give a player to the Hawks in exchange. The motives behind this transaction remain a mystery.
He played with the Yomiuri Giants for three years before signing with his former team (now the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks) during the 2006 off-season as a free agent.
He won a bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics before entering the Japanese professional leagues.
In 2012, he made 2,000th hit in his professional career, making himself as 41st Japanese professional baseball player who made 2,000 hits on June 24. He made an announcement about his intention to retire as of the end of 2012 season on August 14. His retirement ceremony was held on October 8, after the last regular-season match against Orix Buffaloes, in which Softbank suffered no-hitter, which was the first time for Kokubo in his entire baseball life.
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from Japanesebaseball.com
- Kokubo pushes teammates to complete at highest level