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Masaru Kageura

 

Date and Place of Birth: July 20, 1915, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan
Date and Place of Death:    May 20, 1945 The Philippines
Baseball Experience: Japanese Professional League
Position: Outfield/Pitcher
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: Unknown
Area Served: Pacific

Masaru Kageura is a Japanese Hall of Famer whose career ended on the battlefields of the Philippines in 1945.

Masaru Kageura was born on July 20, 1915 in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. He attended Matsuyama Shogyo high school and played in both the spring High School Baseball Championship and summer Invitational Tournament at Koshien in 1932, defeating Akashi Central High School of Hyogo for the title in the latter.

Kageura attended Rikkyo University before signing with the Osaka Tigers in 1936. The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder batted .328 during the spring as an outfielder and corner infielder, and although he hit only .248 in the fall season of his rookie year, he was 6-0 on the mound.

In the 1937 spring season, Kageura batted .289, led the league with 47 RBIs and was 11-5 with a 0.93 ERA. In the fall of that year his .333 batting average led the league.

The 22-year-old again led the league in RBIs during the spring season of 1938 with 31, and had a 14 game streak in which he scored at least one run during the fall season. Kageaura played 74 games in 1939 and batted .258 with 38 RBIs and nine homeruns as the Tigers finished second to the Giants.

At the height of his playing career, Kageura was drafted for military service and did not return to professional baseball until 1943, playing 52 games that year and batting .216 with 24 RBIs.

Kageura's return to pro baseball was all too brief as he was recalled to military service in 1944. Masaru Kageura was killed in action in the Philippines on May 20, 1945. He was 29 years old.

Kageura was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.

Date Added: February 10, 2013

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