Nusbaum: When Sadaharu Oh hung ’em up

From Eric Nusbaum at VICE Sports on November 5, 2015:

Thirty-five years ago this week, Sadaharu Oh retired from baseball. He played 22 seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, and hit 868 home runs.

His approach was singular. Oh stood in the left hand batters box on one foot, his bat held up in front of him, and simply waited, waited, waited for the pitcher to deliver; waited for the spin of the ball to reveal itself, for the ball to practically nestle itself into the catcher’s mitt before uncorking a swing that was big and small at the same time.

In this manner, Oh hit more home runs than any other professional baseball player ever—his total still places him more than 100 ahead of Major League leader Barry Bonds (762). Oh spawned, if not successful imitators, millions of admirers in Japan, some of whom would go on to become the first generation of Japanese players to star in the United States.

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Originally published: November 6, 2015. Last Updated: November 6, 2015.