Ex-Japanese Pro Baseball Slugger Hiromitsu Kadota Dies at 74


Tokyo, Jan. 25 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese professional baseball player Hiromitsu Kadota, who became the home run king at the age of 40 and was called "the star of the middle age," has died, it was learned. He was 74.

Kadota hit a total of 567 home runs in his career, the third most in Japanese professional baseball history.

According to the Hyogo prefectural police department, Kadota was found dead at his home in the western Japan prefecture by a police officer who visited the residence on Tuesday morning. He had no external injury and is believed to have died of illness.

Born in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi and raised in Nara Prefecture, also western Japan, Kadota joined the Japanese professional baseball club Nankai Hawks, a team in the Pacific League and now called the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, in 1969 after playing baseball at Tenri High School in Nara and Kuraray Okayama.

With 120 runs batted in, Kadota won the Pacific League's RBI title for the first time in 1971, in the second year of his professional career. He suffered a tear of his right Achilles tendon in 1979. Overcoming the injury, Kadota slugged 44 homers in 1981 to become the league's home run king for the first time and won his second home run title in 1983, with 40 homers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press