Former Hanshin Tigers Pitcher Bacque Dies

Sports Society

New York, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Gene Bacque, a go-to American pitcher for the popular Japanese professional baseball club Hanshin Tigers in the 1960s, died in his home state of Louisiana on Saturday. He was 82.

Bacque died of complications after an abdominal aneurysm surgery, according to U.S. media.

After playing for a minor league team in Hawaii, Bacque joined the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League in 1962.

In 1964, the right-handed pitcher carried the team to the league championship with a 29-9 record. Leading the league in victories and ERA, he became the first non-Japanese pitcher to be awarded the prestigious Sawamura Award as the best starting pitcher of the season.

Alongside fellow pitcher Minoru Murayama, Bacque was a formidable challenge for the Tigers' archrival, the Yomiuri Giants, led by the batting duo of Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press