• Kyodo

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Relatives and friends bid farewell to Sachio Kinugasa, a baseball Hall of Famer nicknamed “Iron Man,” in a private funeral held in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Mourners included former star pitcher Yutaka Enatsu, Kinugasa’s teammate while with the Hiroshima Carp. A mourner was seen holding a framed portrait of Kinugasa and a baseball bat in her hands.

Kinugasa died Monday of colon cancer at the age of 71, while his 2,215 consecutive games remain a Japanese record.

The Kyoto native played in his 2,131st consecutive game on June 13, 1987, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s professional record total of 2,130. His record was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles on June 14, 1996.

The Carp said its manager, coaches and players will wear mourning badges on their uniforms in tribute to Kinugasa in the team’s three consecutive home games against the Hanshin Tigers from Saturday.

At the beginning of the first game at Mazda Stadium in the western Japanese city, they will offer a silent prayer to pay respect to the infielder who played for the Carp from 1965 to 1987.

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