The Best Aren’t Always from the West

Sadaharu Oh– Racked up 868 home runs (that’s 154 more than Babe Ruth for those of you keeping score at home) in a career that spanned 22-years (1959-80). Oh also brought home 11 Japan Series titles and nine Central League MVP awards.

Tomoaki Kanemoto – The Japanese Ironman smashed Cal Ripken, Jr.’s record for consecutive games without missing an inning with a whopping 1,492 games. He wasn’t loafing either piling up 2,286 hits, 1,415 RBIs, and 442 home runs.

Hiromitsu Ochiai – The only three-time Triple Crown winner ever (’82, ’85, ’86), five-time Home Run title holder, two-time MVP, 2,371 hits, 1,564 RBIs, and a .311 career batting average. One of the finest players to ever swing a bat in the Pacific League.

Hideo Nomo – The “Tornado” ripped through the MLB sending 1,918 batters back to the dugout with a strikeout on their record…not impressive enough well don’t forget to count his other 1,204 strikeouts in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Ichiro Suzuki – Holder of MLBs single-season record for hits with 262 Suzuki is a 10-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, AL Rookie of the Year (’01), AL MVP (’01), Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award recipient, AL record for Consecutive Stolen Bases (45), two-time AL Batting Champion, all this after playing in Japan!

Hideki Matsui– Before becoming a free agent “Godzilla” terrorized pitchers with a .363 career on-base percentage and a .831 on-base plus slugging percentage. Matsui brought another World Series championship to New York by helping the Yankees beat the Phillies in ’09 with his .615 batting average and three home runs during the fall classic. And that’s just his MLB feats…

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