Move over Sadaharu Oh…Japan is about to crown a new home run king. His name? Wladimir Balentien.
The Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder tied the legendary Oh (and Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera) with his 55th home run during a loss against the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday. And with 21 games to go…odds are he'll get number 56 pretty soon.
"It's an honor to be tied with such great players," Balentien said. "I'm relieved and happy I was able to do it here in front of our home fans."
"Coco" would've probably had the home run record sooner had he not missed the first dozen games of the season due to a leg injury he sustained while playing for the Netherlands during the most recent World Baseball Classic. The former Major Leaguer (dude spent parts of three seasons with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds), is batting a hefty .340 this season with 117 RBI in just 109 games.