Greatest Japanese players in New York Yankees history

3. Hiroki Kuroda

Picked up from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees took a chance with Kuroda and were pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

If there’s one thing you can say about Kuroda in the Bronx, it is that he was consistent.

In three years, he compiled a 38-33 record with a 3.44 ERA including 620.0 innings of work — the seventh most in the AL during that span. After his third season, he opted to head back to Japan to finish out his professional career.

This past season, he announced his retirement from the sport.

Even more, Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium was started by Kuroda. Bet no one remembers that.

Kuroda made a huge difference in the Bronx and opened the door for another famous Japanese pitcher to make his way to the Yankees. Underappreciated, Kuroda got the job done. So, Kuroda, remember we appreciate you now.