Hiromitsu Kadota, Third in NPB in Home Runs, Dead at 74

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

Hiromitsu Kadota, who ranks third in Nippon Professional Baseball history in home runs with 567, died on Tuesday. He was 74.

Kadota played 23 professional seasons in his native Japan, making his debut with the Nankai Hawks in 1970. He spent 19 seasons with the Hawks before playing two years with Orix and two more seasons with Daiei to finish out his career.

In addition to his 567 career home runs, which place him behind only Sadaharu Oh (868) and Katsuya Nomura (657), Kadota batted .289/.379/.529 with an OPS of .907, 2,566 hits and 1,678 RBI.

Kadota led the league in RBI in 1971, his second pro season, and won three home run crowns, in 1981, 1983, and 1988, at age 40, in a season that also saw him lead the league in RBI again and win the Most Valuable Player award at age 40.

Inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, Kadota was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture and grew up in Nara Prefecture. He had been battling several illnesses, including diabetes, according to the Japan Times, which reported that he died at home in Hyogo Prefecture.

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