Wednesday night, Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien tied the legendary Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera with his 55th home run of the season.
Sunday, with a first inning bomb against the Hanshin Tigers…"Coco" owned the record outright.
“I feel so relieved right now,” the Curacao native told the Japan Times. “Lot of emotions. Just to get this is something unbelievable. This is (something) that nobody was able to do for 49 years. For me to do it, I can’t even explain what I’m feeling right now.”
“It’s amazing that he’s homered at a pace of about once every two games,” former home run king Oh said in a statement. “This is far beyond a new NPB record and an overwhelming number. I want to enjoy how far he can take it over the next 18 games with the fans.”
And, yeah, as you might suspect…Balentien wasn't content with just having 56 home runs. Two innings later, he added another home run to his mythic total. Want to see all of the 55 home runs Balentien hit prior to Sunday's record setting blasts…just click here.
The 29-year-old played parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, hitting just .221 with 15 home runs in 170 games.