Wladimir Balentien Ties Japanese Baseball’s Single-Season Home Run Record (Video)
While many of us here in North America have been busy paying attention to Chris Davis’ home run parade (he currently has 49 on the season), across the Pacific Ocean in Japan, there is an even more exciting home run parade taking place.
It comes courtesy of Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien, who hit his record-tying 55th home run of the 2013 Japanese baseball season on Wednesday during a 6-2 loss to the Hiroshima Carp.
Balentien, a former member of the Reds and the Mariners, tied the mark set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964. That mark has since been equaled by Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002, but with 21 games still remaining on the Swallows’ schedule, Balentien shouldn’t have any problems distancing himself from the previous record-holders.
It should be noted that Balentien missed the first 12 games of the season due to a leg injury. And we should also mention that a few months ago, Japanese baseball officials admitted that they had introduced a new ball this season, which has resulted in more homers.
Balentien certainly seems to be benefiting from the change of balls. Here’s a look at his record-tying 55th home run of the season: