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November 4, 1980: Sadaharu Oh Retires as Baseball's “Home Run King”

JoeSportsFanSenior Analyst INovember 4, 2009

November 4, 1980

On this day 29 years ago, Sadaharu Oh retired from the Yomiuri Giants in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League.  He retired with 868 home runs, which still ranks ahead of current Major League Baseball career leaders Barry Bonds (762) and Hank Aaron (755).

Many people don’t observe Oh as the world record holder since he never played in the Major Leagues, and those people are probably correct.  I am one of those people, and I’m frequently correct.  However, it’s kind of sad that I’m more familiar with the work of Sandra Oh, as opposed to Sadaharu Oh.

Makes me think my lack of respect for this accomplishment is on account of my own ignorance.  On second though, nevermind.  One Japanese team did this to Bobby Valentine.

Impress your co-workers: In 2007, Oh said that it’s a matter of time before someone breaks his world record of 868 home runs. “I think the 868 record will be broken. There’s nobody near that mark in Japan, but I think Alex Rodriguez can do it”, he added. “He has the ability to hit 1,000.”  ARod was not available for comment, but he agrees with Oh.


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