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Wladimir Balentien smacks number 55, ties the NPB home run record

Sep 11, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

He’s gone deep again. Here’s the homer that ties Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera. The ball is way on the outside part of the plate. Almost to the left-handed batter’s box. He don’t care:

 

He has 22 games after tonight in which to break the record. That’s pretty doable. Given that he missed the first 12 games of the season with an injury, that’s pretty incredible.

  1. contraryguy - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Nice job, Wlad, but it’s still Japan… if Adam Dunn is tired of playing for the White Sox, he should go to Japan for a year, probably hit 80 out at least.

  2. phuckphilly99 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Is it me, or do those empty seats up front look a lot like Yankee Stadium?

    • jwbiii - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      The Swallows are in last place.

      • harrycanyon - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        What place are the Spits in?

  3. kcroyal - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    It’s a bummer you only have one picture to use of the guy. I mean we get updated daily on the dude, could you at least find another picture to use?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      The only other pic in the Getty/AP archives (which we have to use) is from the WBC. So, eh.

  4. hwentworth - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Continued coverage for an impressive achievement. Think we can update his picture to be slightly more relevant?

    • hwentworth - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Missed it by two minutes. Even better: you can’t delete comments, apparently.

  5. icanspeel - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    It’s pretty impressive nonetheless, I wonder if a MLB team will give him a 2nd look next year.

    • bravojawja - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      I’m sure somebody will talk to him, but I imagine it would take a helluva lot of money to get him to leave NPB.

      • eightyraw - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        2 years left on his current contract. He won’t be posted.

    • denny65 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      The Mariners will probably offer him a two-year, $14m contract.

  6. gmagic9044 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    The bouquet of flowers post home run trot was a nice, classy touch.

  7. spicyjimbolaya - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    What kind of HGH testing is there in Japan? Came off an injury and missed 12 games? Hmmm. Japanese pay premium for their entertainment, do they care if an MLB washout breaks their HR record being juiced?

    • jwbiii - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Probably nothing for HGH. In 2005-06, when the talking about testing started there, only one stadium was equipped for handling blood samples. For urine tests, everybody at spring training and then two random players after every game. They’ve only caught three players since testing began in 2007 (all were gaijins) so either the tests don’t work very well or the culture is different.

      • classicfinder - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        I think you meant “Gringo”.

  8. Jackson Scofield - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Reblogged this on ScoSports.

  9. poprox13 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    And yet people still want to count Ichiro’s hits from that leauge. smh

    • pauleee - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      And which people are that, again? Right, just the ones in your head.

      /smh

      • poprox13 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        you obviously dont pay attention to sports media and some posters on this site have mentioned Ichiro’s 4000 hits as well.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9586027/ichiro-suzuki-reach-remarkable-4000-hit-milestone

      • raysfan1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Saying that he has 4000 hits as a professional is not equating it to 4000 major league hits. The other players who get listed with him as collecting 4K hits also include their minor league totals.

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