Sadaharu Oh



Sadaharu Oh (Japanese: 王貞治, Ō Sadaharu; born May 20, 1940), also known as Wang Chen-chih (Chinese: 王貞治; pinyin: Wáng Zhēnzhì), is a retired Japanese–Chinese baseball player and manager who played 22 seasons for the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from 1959 to 1980. Oh holds the world lifetime home run record, having hit 868 home runs during his professional career. He established many NPB batting records, including runs batted in (RBIs) (2,170), slugging percentage (.634), bases on balls (2,390), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.080). In 1977, Sadaharu Oh became the first recipient of the People's Honour Award. He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. Oh batted and threw left-handed and primarily played first base. Originally signed with the powerhouse Yomiuri Giants in 1959 as a pitcher, Oh was soon converted to a full-time hitter. Under the tutelage of coach Hiroshi Arakawa, Oh developed his distinctive "flamingo" leg kick. It took Oh three years to blossom, but he went on to dominate the baseball league in Japan. He was a 15-time home-run champion and was named to the All-Star team 18 times. More than just a power hitter, Oh was a five-time batting champion and won the Japanese Central League's batting triple crown twice. With Sadaharu Oh at first base, the Yomiuri Giants won 11 championships. Oh was named the Central League's Most Valuable Player nine times. In addition to the world career home run record, he held Japan's single-season home run record with 55, until Wladimir Balentien broke the record in 2013. Oh played his entire professional career with Japan's Yomiuri Giants and was their manager from 1984 to 1988. He also managed the Fukuoka Daiei/Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks from 1995 to 2008. He was the manager of the Japanese national team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. The Japanese team defeated the Cuban national team for the championship. He is currently the chairman of the Hawks.

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