HIROSHIMA – Yomiuri Giants infield and running coach Takuya Kimura died Wednesday morning at a Hiroshima hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage, Yomiuri said. He was 37.
The former utility player had been in critical condition at Hiroshima University Hospital after collapsing suddenly while hitting balls during pre-game fielding practice Friday.
Kimura ended his playing career after the 2009 season.
Kimura joined the Nippon Ham Fighters organization in 1991 then was traded to the Hiroshima Carp in ’95. The Carp traded him to the Giants in 2006.
He made his pro debut in 1992 with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
In his 18-year career, the switch-hitting Kimura batted .262 with 1,049 hits, including 53 home runs. A two-time All-Star (2000, ’01), he scored 495 runs and had 103 stolen bases in 1,523 games. He played on Yomiuri’s 2009 Japan Series title-winning team.
Known for his versatility, he saw time at all positions except pitcher.