Koji Uehara Celebrity Life
Koji Uehara, born on 3rd April 1975 in Neyagawa, is a Japanese baseball player. He played at the highest professional level in Japan in NPB from 1999 to 2008 with the Yomiuri Giants before joining the Major League Baseball in North America in 2009. Since 2017, this right-handed relief pitcher has been playing for the Chicago Cubs.
With the Boston Red Sox, with which he played from 2013 to 2016, he was named MVP of the Series 2013 championship of the American League.
Career in Japan
Koji Uehara in 2006 with the Yomiuri Giants. Koji Uehara played with the Yomiuri Giants from 1999 to 2008. He was elected best rookie in the Central League in 1999, won the Sawamura Trophy for best pitcher twice (1999, 2002) and was selected for the NPB All-Star Game (1999 - 2005, 2007) eight times.
In 10 seasons for the Giants, he was mainly used as a starting pitcher. In 276 games played, including only 71 as a relief pitcher, Uehara averaged 3.01 earned runs in the Japanese league, with 112 wins over 62 losses and 33 rescues in relief. He was part of the Giants Club when it won the Central League title 3 times and the Japan Series (NPB World Series equivalent) twice in 2000 and 2002.
Koji Uehara in 2009 with the Baltimore Orioles
Koji Uehara signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles on January 13, 2009. He started the season in second place in the rotation of the Orioles starting pitchers.
He signed his MLB debut with a win over the New York Yankees on April 8. He is the first Japanese to play for the Orioles.
Employed as a starting pitcher in his first season, he had two wins and four losses. The following season, the team used him exclusively as a setup reliever.
During this period, he got an excellent average of earned points of 2.86 in 44 innings pitched. He won a victory and cashed the defeat on two occasions in addition to recording 13 rescues. He became a free agent in November 2010 and signed a new contract with the Orioles.
Koji Uehara in 2012 with the Texas Rangers
On 30 July 2011, the Orioles traded Uehara to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis. He appeared in 22 Ranger games, where he recorded 23 strikeouts in 18 innings on the field. He completed the 2011 season with two wins, three losses, 85 strikeouts and an average of 2.35 earned runs in 65 innings pitched for Baltimore and Texas. He played three playoff games with the Rangers but made no appearance in the 2011 World Series.
In 2012, he maintained his average earned runs of 1.75 in 36 innings pitched, recording 43 strikeouts against just 3 conceded goals.
Boston Red Sox
Koji Uehara in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox
On December 18, 2012, Uehara signed a $4.25 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The return on investment of the Red Sox was considerable and, at this amount, Uehara turned out to be one of the best bargains of the year. He became the team closer after the injuries of Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey.
At the age of 38, he had one of the best seasons in history for a Red Sox reliever with an average of 1.09 earned points. In 73 games, he recorded 101 strikeouts against just 9 walks (including 2 intentional). He only gave 10 points throughout the season.
In 2013 World Series, Uehara was named player of the 2013 American League Championship Series, which Boston won over the Detroit Tigers.
At the age of 39, Uehara was invited in 2014 for the first time to the major baseball All-Stars' match.
In October 2014, he signed a new two-year contract with Boston.
Uehara joined the Chicago Cubs in 2017.
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