Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Uh Oh, It's Oh! 1/1/13

Hey baseball fans!

Happy New Year!! Sorry I haven't posted in about a week. I was vacationing in Florida. Anyway, for today's post, I will be blogging about a baseball player who never played in the states, but is one of the most popular international baseball players of all time.

Sadaharu Oh played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1959-1980 in the professional Japanese baseball league. He originally was a pitcher, but was converted to a power-hitting first baseman after his rookie season. Kind of reminds me of Babe Ruth! From there, his career took off. Besides leading all of Japan in batting average five times, he was a major power hitter. He currently owns the record for most international home runs in a career with 868 and led Japan in homers for 15 seasons. He batted a lifetime .301, hit 868 homers (as I said before), with 2,170 RBIs, and 2,786 hits. He won the MVP award nine times!! After his playing career ended, he managed his Giants from 1984-1988, which delayed his Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame induction to 1994.

So, what have we learned from this international star? We have learned that even if you aren't playing ball in the states, it doesn't mean that you're not going to make an impact on our national pastime. Don't give up if you're traded to Japan. Take it as an opportunity to make an impact in some place new and don't lose hope. Hope you enjoyed reading this post! Thanks for reading!


  1. Do you know the story of Phil Niekro striking him out on three pitches? He just sat down in the batter's box afterward in disbelief! The Japanese had never seen a knuckleball before and were quite amazed by it.

    1. I'm surprised that the Japanese hadn't seen a knuckleball. I thought they would be crafty enough to invent it themselves.

  2. Your profile of the great Sadaharu Oh inspired me to do some further research on him, Matt, and I realized that he and I share a birthday, May 20th. (Bobby Murcer and Pete Appleton share it too; you should look them up, especially Appleton, who is one of baseball's more interesting characters. He had a fairly mediocre major league career pitching under the name Pete Jablonowski, but then changed his last name to Appleton in 1933, took a two-year sabbatical from baseball, came back with the Washington Senators in 1936 and had the best season of his otherwise totally forgettable fourteen-year career.)

    Thank you for being the impetus behind my baseball explorations, Matt. You reminded me that I actually had the honor of meeting Oh-san back in 1989, a year after he retired as manager of the Yomiuri Giants. I umpired some Japan League spring training games at Kobe Green Stadium, and he was very gracious to me even though I could tell he was surprised to see a woman umpire.

    Great job profiling a player with whom American baseball fans may not be familiar. And thanks for the memories!