Jiro Kuji

From BR Bullpen

Jiro Kuji (久慈 次郎)

Biographical Information[edit]

Jiro Kuji was a catcher on the All-Japan team that faced Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and other American stars in a famous 1934 series. He was the batterymate for the legendary Eiji Sawamura. He played professionally for the Dai Nippon Tokyo Baseball Club. He died two days after an injury in a 1939 game; in the Inter-city Baseball Tournament, he was at bat when a catcher tried to pick a runner off second, but the ball hit Kuji in the back of the head. In 1947, the Inter-city Baseball Tournament created the Fighting Spirit Award in his honor. He was part of the initial class of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959.