Former Yomiuri Giants manager Tetsuharu Kawakami, who led the famed club to nine consecutive championships from 1965 to 1973, has died of natural causes. He was 93.

Kawakami's relatives said that the man who brandished a red-painted bat and was known as the "God of Hitting" passed away at a hospital in Inagi, Tokyo, at 4:58 p.m. Monday.

In his 18 years in pro baseball, Kawakami won five batting titles, two home run crowns, three RBI titles and had six titles for the most hits in a season. He was the first player in Japanese pro baseball to achieve 2,000 hits and was named the league's MVP three times.