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Obituaries

Katsuya Nomura, star baseball player with rocky personal life

He spent 26 years at Nankai Hawks, racking up achievements

Yakult Swallows manager Katsuya Nomura is tossed in the air by his jubilating players at the Seibu Lions Stadium in Saitama after they capped thier 1993 season with a 4-3 victory over the Seibu Lions on Nov. 1, 1993.   © Kyodo

The sporting world in Japan is mourning the loss of one of its all-time stars, Katsuya Nomura, who died on February 11, aged 84, from a heart attack. Nomura was one of the most prolific batters in the history of Japanese baseball.

Over a 26-year career, spent mostly as a catcher with the Nankai Hawks, now the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Nomura won the Pacific League Most Valuable Player title five times; became the first batter in the postwar era to win a Triple Crown in the Nippon Professional Baseball, in 1965; and, with 657 career home runs and 1,988 RBIs, is second only on the lifetime list to Sadaharu Oh.

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