If Japanese ball player Ichiro Suzuki (surname LAST!!) can go over to North America and break a few MLB (Major League Baseball records) such as most hits in a single season (262), or most consecutive 200-hit seasons (10), then it is only fair that a foreigner go to Japan's professional baseball league(s) and make history of his own.
Wladimir Balentien—hit his 56th and 57th home run of the season for the Yakult Swallows on Sunday, breaking the revered single season home run record of 55 held by Japanese baseball icon Oh Sadaharu, who set the record back in 1964.
Now that is internationalization.
In years past, anytime a foreign baseball player approached that record, pitchers suddenly stopped throwing a baseball anywhere near the batter... it smacked of racism. See HERE for a bit of a refresher course.
But... Balentien, a native of Curacao of the Dutch Antilles, hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday’s game against the Hanshin Tigers, sending the ball over the left-field wall at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, and then hit a solo blast in the third for No. 57.
There are still 17 games left in the season...
Photo: Jiji Press/Getty Images