Toshiharu Ueda, who as manager led the Hankyu Braves (now Orix Buffaloes) to three consecutive Japan Series titles in the 1970s, died in the early hours of Saturday morning aged 80, his former club the Nippon Ham Fighters announced Sunday.
Ueda died at a hospital in Kawasaki, where he had been battling pneumonia.
Ueda began his professional playing career after joining the Hiroshima Carp in 1959 but never shined, retiring after three seasons before working as a coach from 1962 with Hiroshima and then Hankyu.
He became Hankyu manager in 1974 before steering the team to three Japan Series championships from 1975 to 1977.
Ueda resigned as manager over an incident in Game 7 of the Japan Series in 1978 in which he took the blame for a protest involving a home run which delayed the contest between Hankyu and the Yakult Swallows for 79 minutes.
His second stint with Hankyu/Orix lasted 10 years from 1981. Ueda then skippered Nippon Ham for five years from 1995.
He won five league championships altogether in his 20-year career as a manager. Ueda compiled a record of 1,322 wins against 1,136 losses and 116 ties with the Hankyu/Orix and Nippon Ham.
He was inducted into the Japanese Hall of Fame in 2003.
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