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Takuya Kimura, dead at 37

by on Apr.07, 2010 @ 5:38 pm, under NPB

According to the Giants, they received 16,636 flower offerings from fans during their recent homestand (they left a table open for flowers at three locations in Tokyo Dome).

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About 2,500 people attended Kimura's funeral services on Saturday with about 500 fans standing outside the building where the services were held.

The Giants also announced that Kimura's memorial game will take place on the 24th.

The Giants hung their flag half-staff on Friday (4/9).

On a side note: Kimura's eldest son hit a 3-run homer during a softball game he played in on the 4th.

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About 800 people attended Kimura's wake on Friday.

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Kimura's wake will take place on Friday (4/9), beginning at 6:30pm JST in Nishi Ward, Hiroshima.

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The Giants announced on Wednesday (4/7) that one of the three games they play against the Hiroshima Carp will be named a memorial game for Kimura.  They also plan on holding a farewell event as well.

They also announced that they will be have a registry available at the Miyazaki City Hall and a branch office on the 9th, and at Giants' Plaza between the 9th and 11th.  At the end of the period, the registry will be given to Kimura's family.

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If you haven't already heard by now, Takuya Kimura passed away at 3:22am JST.  He was only 37 years old.  Funeral services will be held on the 10th at 11am in Hiroshima City, Nishi Ward.  He is survived by his wife and three children (two sons and a daughter).

A lot of quotes from various people that have played alongside him are starting to filter through.

Tatsunori Hara -- I wanted a miracle to happen for him, but it never came true. ... I have too many memories. ... I think he would have made a great coach / manager.

Tetsuya Utsumi - I'm full of disbelief. He was a steady defender, and I always felt as long as he was behind me, I could pitch my game. He was always helping me out.

Michihiro Ogasawara - I'm still in shock. This is just very sad news. I couldn't believe it at first and thought it was a joke.

Shinnosuke Abe - It still hasn't sunk in...  I still can't believe this is true.

Hideki Matsui - A lot of young players would listen to him because of all the things he experienced. He did his best to help the Giants... This is awful news.

Hajime Matsuda - Catcher, outfielder, infielder, switch-hitter...  He would play anywhere he was needed, take on the challenge, and he would succeed. He made great use of his experience, and I was hopeful he'd become a great coach. This is all very sad.

Daisuke Miura - It's very sad. I played against him when he was on Hiroshima and Yomiuri, and I played alongside with him during the Athens Olympics. I just met him last week at the stadium, and he was worried about me. This is all just horrible news.

There are other comments from people like Takao Obana, Koji Akiyama, Hiroki Kuroda, Hidetoshi Kiyotake (Giants rep), Ryozo Kato (NPB Commissioner) and Hideo Higashikokubaru (Miyazaki prefectural governor).

Additional quotes have been published by various news outlets: Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh, Osamu Higashio, Yusei Kikuchi, Kazuki Fukuchi, and Yoshinobu Takahashi.  There are various other articles full of quotes from a large number of players, both here, here, and here.

More quotes from his high school manager and his high school principal and Nippon Ham Fighters.

There's a roundup of quotes here.

The Ni-gun team also took a moment of silence at Giants Stadium on Wednesday (4/7).  All six NPB stadiums held moments of silence for Kimura prior to the start of games on Wednesday (4/7).

Hiroshima club owner Hajime Matsuda placed flowers on home plate at about 10 am on Wednesday (4/7).  About 50 club personnel also stood for a moment of silence immediately after that.

Giants rep Hidetoshi Kiyotake visited Kimura's home on Wednesday (4/7) to pay his respects and to pass on messages from the players.

Kimura's old school, Miyazaki Minami High School, held a moment of silence during opening school year ceremonies on Thursday (4/8).

Sanspo has a number of images of Kimura posted in a couple of their articles, here and here.  Sponichi has some as well.

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All Star Game Appearances: 2 (2000, 2001)

Played on the 2004 Athens Olympic Baseball Team and won a bronze medal.

Has played at every position, other than pitcher: 539 games in the outfield, 769 games at second, 91 games at short, 61 games at third, 39 games at first, and 5 games as catcher.

Career Stats

Year Team G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RB RBI SB CS SF SH BB HBP SO DP AVG SLG OBP OPS
1992 HAM 6 15 13 3 3 0 1 0 5 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 .231 .385 .286 .670
1993 HAM 29 18 16 4 3 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 .188 .188 .278 .465
1994 HAM 83 41 39 6 8 3 0 0 11 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 10 1 .205 .282 .225 .507
1995 HIR 7 7 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
1996 HIR 30 15 14 5 2 0 0 0 2 0 4 2 1 0 0 0 4 0 .143 .143 .143 .286
1997 HIR 77 88 78 17 18 1 0 0 19 5 8 1 2 0 8 0 25 0 .231 .244 .302 .546
1998 HIR 86 150 131 20 32 5 2 0 41 8 14 2 5 1 13 0 27 0 .244 .313 .310 .625
1999 HIR 90 231 205 23 51 6 1 3 68 13 6 2 15 1 10 0 39 10 .249 .332 .282 .615
2000 HIR 136 620 572 74 165 34 2 10 233 30 17 15 11 1 33 3 80 4 .288 .407 .330 .738
2001 HIR 137 630 551 78 145 23 5 7 199 45 18 11 16 2 61 0 129 5 .263 .361 .336 .698
2002 HIR 130 449 412 46 98 18 1 5 133 27 6 1 13 1 20 3 66 7 .238 .323 .278 .601
2003 HIR 131 537 473 64 135 19 0 13 193 38 14 6 26 3 30 5 95 6 .285 .408 .333 .743
2004 HIR 85 183 161 21 40 8 2 2 58 12 4 0 4 1 17 0 32 2 .248 .360 .318 .680
2005 HIR 111 354 313 32 77 9 0 2 92 16 3 5 13 0 26 2 41 9 .246 .294 .308 .602
2006 YOM 62 169 146 12 38 7 0 0 45 7 0 2 5 1 16 1 32 2 .260 .308 .335 .646
2007 YOM 113 338 311 26 82 15 2 2 107 29 4 4 5 2 17 3 64 6 .264 .344 .306 .652
2008 YOM 124 432 372 46 109 21 0 7 151 31 1 3 26 2 27 5 61 3 .293 .406 .347 .755
2010 YOM 86 210 186 17 43 8 0 2 57 16 1 0 8 2 12 2 38 2 .231 .306 .282 .591
Totals 1523 4487 4000 495 1049 177 16 53 1417 280 103 55 152 17 293 25 752 57 .262 .354 .315 .671

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Additional information about player quotes were added after this story was first posted.