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Kazuo Kito


Date and Place of Birth: April 25, 1917, Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan
Date and Place of Death:    1944 near Mariana Islands
Baseball Experience: Japanese Professional League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: Unknown
Area Served: Unknown

Kazuo Kito was born on April 25, 1917 in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan. He attended Chukyo Shogyo high school and Nihon University before signing with Dai Tokyo in 1936. Kito, a 5-foot-6, left-handed hitting outfielder, batted cleanup for Dai Tokyo in all 14 of their spring season games in 1936 and hit .217. In the fall season he batted .205 in 15 games.

In 1937, Kito played in all 56 Dai Tokyo spring season games and batted .275. He raised that average to an impressive .321 with a league-leading 22 stolen bases in the fall as Dai Tokyo changed its name to Lion after the team was bought by Lion Toothpaste.

Playing 24 games in the 1938 spring campaign, 21-year-old Kito batted just .219, but hit .247 in 40 games in the fall. In 1939, he batted .304 (fifth best in the league) with 15 doubles, 48 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. In 1940, despite Lion finishing in last place, Kito had an outstanding season. Playing alongside his younger brother, Masakazu, who joined Lion mid-season from Nagoya, Kazuo Kito led the league in batting average (.321), hits (124) and triples (13).

Kito joined Nankai in 1941, but was unable to repeat the performance of the previous season. In 60 games he batted just .199 - 122 points lower than his previous year.

Kito entered military service after the 1941 season. He died in combat near the Mariana Islands in 1944.

Date Added: February 10, 2013

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