Inspired by countrymen, Fujikawa signs with Cubs
CHICAGO – Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa’s aspirations of playing in the majors seemed only a pipe dream as a 15-year-old student.
But as he witnessed the success of countryman Hideo Nomo and the subsequent influx of other Japanese players in Major League Baseball, including Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, Fujikawa decided it was time to prove that he too belonged.
“Matsuzaka, who is the same age as I am, struggled a little bit, but his challenge really gave me the motivation to come over here, as well as Ichiro’s challenge to the major leagues, that motivated me to come over,” Fujikawa said through a translator.
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