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Old 08-27-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,975 posts, read 18,573,926 times
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Ever heard of Wladimir Balentien? He is from the Netherlands Antilles, the same Caribbean nation which gave us Andruw Jones and Jair Jurrjens. Balentien played in 170 games in MLB with the Mariners and Reds between 2007 and 2009, posting a .221 /.281 /.374 line with 15 home runs in 555 plate appearances.

Not very impressive but he did have the accomplishment of hitting the longest measured home run of the 2009 season, a 500 plus foot blast against the Pirates on the final day of the season.

Then he went to Japan and signed a 3 year 7.5 million dollar deal with the Yakult Swallows of Japan's Central League and hit 31 home runs in each of his first two seasons there.

In 2013 he has 53 home runs, two shy of tying the Japanese major league single season record which is held by the immortal Sadaharu Oh (1964) and tied by American Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Venezuelan Alex Cabrera in 2002.

The foreign players were allowed to tie, but not break Oh's mark. In both cases the players came into the final weekends needing one to break the record, and instead were walked in every plate appearance. Before that, another American, Randy Bass, had reached 54 home runs with three games left to play and was walked in every plate appearance in those three games against the Giants, managed by....Sadaharu Oh. Rhodes and Cabrera had also been the victims of the Giants, also managed by Oh. Oh insisted that he had ordered his pitchers to throw normally against Bass, Rhodes and Cabrera, but that they disobeyed out of loyalty.

But....the difference now is that the Swallows still have 33 games remaining and it doesn't seem possible that they will walk Balentien the next 140 times he comes to the plate.

And Oh retired after 2008 and no longer manages.


Balentien...Uh-Oh
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,879,146 times
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He will set a record for walks this year.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:48 PM
 
20,976 posts, read 16,265,689 times
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Thanks for posting!
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,176 posts, read 4,640,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oildog View Post
He will set a record for walks this year.
Yep, a record that may never be broken.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,238 posts, read 24,428,775 times
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Can't wait to see him back in the big leagues.
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Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:16 AM
 
460 posts, read 853,266 times
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I remember seeing (on television) Sadaharu Oh face off against Phil Niekro in some type of exhibition, many years ago. Apparently Oh had never seen a knuckleball before, and was totally baffled by it. So much so, that he seemed to be laughing about his inability to hit it. As I recall, Niekro struck him out twice, with only 6 pitches. It was all in good fun, and good sportsmanship was exhibited by everyone.

I'd love to see a clip of that again.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Wladimir Balentien hits 55th homer to tie Japan mark - ESPN

Quote:
TOKYO -- Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 55th home run on Wednesday, tying Japanese baseball's single-season record.


Balentien matched the mark set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and equaled by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002. He has 21 regular-season games left to break the record.

Wladimir Balentien 55th homerun 2013.09.11 - YouTube
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: NYntarctica
11,435 posts, read 6,404,811 times
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I don't know why most MLB players don't go to Japan to play. I mean if I was a Double-A or a Triple-A player who is struggling, I'd definitely go to Japan. Why be a no-name in the states when you can just go to Japan and become a potential superstar
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:48 AM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warszawa View Post
I don't know why most MLB players don't go to Japan to play. I mean if I was a Double-A or a Triple-A player who is struggling, I'd definitely go to Japan. Why be a no-name in the states when you can just go to Japan and become a potential superstar

There are strict limits as to the number is foreign players that each team can hire - two, I believe.

Generally, the BEST players to head to Japan are long-term AAA people who cannot hit major league pitching - guys like Brad Komminsk as an example.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,975 posts, read 18,573,926 times
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Wladimir Balentien sets HR mark

Quote:
TOKYO -- Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs on Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago.
sFormer major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs Sunday, breaking the single-season mark Sadaharu Oh set in 1964.

Balentien hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday's game, sending the ball over the left-field wall at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium to give his Yakult Swallows an early lead over the Hanshin Tigers. He then added a solo shot in the third for No. 57.

Oh set the record of 55 in 1964. While it was equaled by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002, many felt Oh used his position as a manager to prevent both players from breaking it.
Wladimir Balentien belts 56th homer in Japan to surpass Sadaharu Oh - ESPN
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