Former catcher Kagawa dies at 52


Nobuyuki Kagawa, former catcher for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, died of a heart attack on Friday, police said. He was 52.

A native of Osaka, Kagawa was a slugger known by the nickname “Dokaben” for his resemblance to a baseball-playing manga character of the same name.

He joined what was then the Nankai Hawks in 1980 as a second-round draft choice, hitting a home run in his first career at-bat.

Kagawa retired after the 1989 season, the year the team moved from Osaka to Fukuoka and became Daiei.

In 714 games, he had 460 hits and 78 home runs.