|Born: March 23, 1920|
Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, Japan
|Died: October 28, 2013 (aged 93)|
Inagi, Tokyo, Japan
|Japanese Baseball League (JBL) debut|
|Spring, 1938, for the Tokyo Kyojin|
|1958, for the Yomiuri Giants|
|JBL/Nippon Professional Baseball statistics|
|Runs batted in||1,319|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Japanese|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Tetsuharu Kawakami ( Kawakami Tetsuharu, March 23, 1920 – October 28, 2013) was a Japanese baseball player and manager, known for his red bat, and his nickname (dageki no kamisama, "the God of Batting/Hitting"). He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.
Born in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, he played for Kumamoto Tech (Kumamoto) in the 1937 Summer K?shien. Kumamoto advanced to the championship game, but lost. After the game, Kawakami grabbed a handful of dirt from the playing field of K?shien Stadium and put it in his uniform pocket as a memento. This became known as the original scooping of "the dirt of K?shien" ( K?shien no tsuchi?). Since then, as a memento of their fleeting time on the hallowed grounds of K?shien, players from the losing teams take home a pouch of the precious soil.
Kawakami played for Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants between 1938 and 1958 (though he missed the years 1943-1945 when he served in the Japanese military). Kawakami signed with the Giants as a pitcher/first baseman, and actually pitched in 39 games between 1938 and 1941, compiling 11 wins against 9 losses, with an excellent 2.61 ERA. He converted full-time to first base in 1942.
In 1951, he struck out only 6 times, which is the Japanese single-season tie record. In 1954, Kawakami hit the first cycle in Yomiuri Giants' franchise history.
He was a professional player for 18 years, winning the batting title five times, two home run crowns, three RBI titles, and had six titles for the most hits in a season. He was the MVP of the 1953 Japan Series. He was the first player in Japanese pro baseball to achieve 2,000 hits and was named the league's MVP three times.
Tetsuharu Kawakami appeared in three films:
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