Sad news came last week with the death of Nobuyuki "Dokaben" Kagawa, the roly-poly rotund catcher of the 1980s Nankai Hawks. He died of an apparent heart attack on Sept. 26 in Fukuoka at the age of 52.

Kagawa looked more like a sumo wrestler than a baseball player. He played for the Hawks in Osaka from 1980 to 1988 and marked his final season with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 1989 before retiring.

A high school star in the national tournament at Koshien Stadium, Kagawa was the Namisho (Osaka) High School teammate and battery mate of pitcher Kazuhiko Ushijima, who also went on to the pro ranks with the Chunichi Dragons and Lotte Orions and was later manager of the Yokohama BayStars.