Last weekend in Hiroshima, Yomiuri coach Takuya Kimura was hospitalized after collapsing during a pre-game “sheet knock” exercise. On April 7th (JST), he died of subarachnoid hemorrhaging. Kimura was 37 years old and was in his first season as a coach, having retired as an active player after last season.
Kimura finished his playing career with the Giants and started with the Fighters, but I’ll remember him best from his time with the Carp, where he played while I was living in Japan. He was an all-around solid player who played a number of positions well, a trait he become more famous for with the Giants. Daily Sports has a few photos, including one of him catching for the Giants in a game last September.
It’s been a rough year for NPB with the losses of Hiroyuki Oze, Shigeru Kobayashi, and now Kimura. Let’s hope that we won’t get any more of this type of news for a long while.