Takuya Kimura (baseball)

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Takuya Kimura
Utility player
Born: (1972-04-15)April 15, 1972
Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan
Died: April 7, 2010(2010-04-07) (aged 37)
Hiroshima, Japan
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
Nippon Professional Baseball debut
1992, for the Nippon-Ham Fighters
Last appearance
2009, for the Yomiuri Giants
Nippon Professional Baseball statistics
(through 2009)
Batting average .262
Home runs 53
RBI 280
Career highlights and awards
Olympic medal record
Men's Baseball
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens Team Competition

Takuya Kimura (木村 拓也?, Kimura Takuya, April 15, 1972 – April 7, 2010) was a Japanese baseball player for the Yomiuri Giants. He previously played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp before being traded to the Giants in 2006. He played for the Giants through the 2009 season before retiring as a player, returning to the Giants for 2010 in a coaching capacity.

Kimura was born in Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. He joined the Nippon-Ham Fighters from outside the amateur draft in 1990 after graduating from high school, and went on to become the leading utility player in Japanese baseball. His solid hitting, speed, and strong arm made him a valuable offensive and defensive player. He played games at every single position except pitcher, catching four games in the 1999 season. He played first base for one game in 1998. He was registered as an outfielder, but played more games in the infield in recent years. In 2004, he was recruited for the Athens Olympics for his skills as a utility player.

He had the same name as Takuya Kimura of the popular Japanese pop group, SMAP. He once made an appearance on the television show SMAP×SMAP, hosted by his namesake.

On April 2, 2010, at Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium preceding a game against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, Kimura was hitting practice knocks to infielders when he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital in a coma.[1] He was diagnosed with subarachnoid hemorrhage and died in Hiroshima, Japan, on April 7, 2010.[2] He died just eight days before his 38th birthday.