Dragons’ veteran 1B Setsuo Kimura notched his 1500th hit tonight as his team steamrolled the Toronto Nomads 11-6 to a home town crowd of 45,412 fans tonight.
The 38-year-old left-handed batter from Yokohama was 3-for-4 tonight in what was a huge 4-RBI, 2 HR game. It was his first multi-home run game since June 15. The pair of long balls were joined by another from Tony Cruz, and all three were hit off of Nomads ace Knuckles Malone. They followed two given up by Malone in his previous start, a 4-3 loss to Battle Creek, and in the space of just two starts Malone has now given up 5 home runs – his first home runs allowed in his Bull League career.
Kimura is definitely nowhere near his usual career numbers, hitting just .248 this year compared to his .295 career batting average over the last 21 seasons. But his off year is still contributing in a big way to the New York Dragons as they chase down the Boston Brawlers for a wild card spot in these final games of the 2017 season.
The free agent conversation is all over New York sports media, as fans and pundits debate extending the veteran, whose $19 million contract expires at the end of this season. Tonight’s huge game will do little to quell the noise from the “re-sign” camp, though Kimura has not said whether he plans to retire after this year or not.
Kimura is 7th on the all-time Bull League career hits list, and 6th on the all-time home run list with 283, just behind Seattle’s Jesse Nelson, who was injured at the beginning of July.