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Baseball Legend Sadaharu Oh in Tokyo

Sadaharu Oh is a baseball legend in Japan, he signed with the Yomiuri Giants in 1959 and played for 22 seasons, slugging 868 home runs (Barry Bonds has 762), winning 14 league pennants and 11 Japan Series. In 1962 he was the Central league home run leader, a title that he held for 13 straight seasons, and he won the batting triple crown twice for leading the league in batting average, runs batted in and home runs.

He retired after the 1980 season and became a coach and then the manager of the Yomiuri Giants. In 1988 he ended 31 years with the Giants and in 1995 he took the reins of the Pacific League Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Oh has led the Hawks to three league pennants, two Japan Series wins, and he continues to lead the team despite having had his stomach removed in 2006, due to cancer, but he claims that this year might be his last.

By all accounts Sadaharu Oh is not only a great player, coach and manager but a great man as well. The Daily Yomiuri has posted a two part interview with Oh where he discusses the current season, the game and how his outlook changed as he moved from player, to coach, to manager. (Part 1 and Part 2)

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have a few 2008 regular season games left in the Tokyo area so you still have time to see this legend in uniform at a baseball game. The dates are as follows:

  • July 4-6, August 13-15, September 13-15 & 27 at Chiba Marine Stadium, and
  • July 8 & 9 & August 19-21 at Seibu Goodwill Dome.

Find out how to get out and see one of these games by reading It’s a hit! Baseball in Tokyo where you will find links to the stadium locations and detailed schedule information.

Photo Credit: Personal Collection