Sadaharu Oh: World’s Lifetime Record-Holder in Home Run
The sport of baseball is perhaps among those sports that are easy to play but hard to dominate. Not only does certain conditions affect how the match fares between two opposing teams, there are also intrinsic factors that make any game less monotonous as a whole.
In fact, narrowing down to scope to just the hitter, any avid baseball audiences would know that there is more to the sport than simply swinging a bat and hope for the very best about it.
Like many real-time sports, to be a hitter in baseball is to have a calculated wild guess and bring about an effort to do something about it. But set in a three-dimensional space where the probability of hitting a ball given a certain angle is only one factor to consider about a batter’s ability to make a hit, there is dynamics to the sport that is mostly known to those who actually play it.
Yet, for a role that is both mentally and physically demanding, there are those who are so good at both, they literally make themselves an ideal player for the role of a hitter in the baseball field, much like Sadaharu Oh, a world lifetime record-holder in home runs.
Half-Chinese and half-Japanese and known by two names, Wang Chen-chih or Sadaharu Oh is an icon among baseball players. Not only did he established many notable records based on counts and percentage involving batting, Oh is probably a legend for his legacy of 868 home runs throughout his career in professional baseball, 15 times of which he held the record as home run champion.
With batting as his strength, Sadaharu was a batting champion five times and the only person at his time to have won the batting triple crown twice in the Japanese Central League.
Thanks to his exceptional skill in the field, Sadaharu is credited for bringing the Yomiuri Giants 11 championship winnings and was even regarded as Central League’s Most Valuable Player nine times.
Apart from holding a world career record in home runs, Oh was the only baseball player to hold Japan’s single-season career record of 55 home runs until the record was broken by Wlademir Valentin in 2013. For a legendary who retired in 1980, his record lasted for more than 33 years until it was broken.
Throughout his professional career which started in 1959, Oh had been loyal to his one and only team—the Yomiuri Giants—until he retired in 1980 yet something he continued in 1984 when he began a coaching career for the Giants.
Oh’s coaching career for the Yomiuri Giants ended in 1988, paused for several years, then resumed a coaching career in 1995 until 2008 for the Fukuoka Daiei/Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
For his great contribution to the sport, Sadaharu Oh was inducted into the Japanese Hall of Fame 14 years after his retirement in 1994.
(Interested in getting the same jersey patterned after Sadaharu Oh’s back in his active career? Get one for your size here at Boriz Jersey!)