Sadaharu Oh

Sadaharu Oh

Japan

Holds the world lifetime home run record, having hit 868 home runs during his professional career. Oh batted and threw left-handed and primarily played first base. Oh, who was born in Sumida, Tokyo the son of a Chinese father and a Japanese mother, had originally signed with the powerhouse Yomiuri Giants in 1959 as a pitcher, but was soon converted to first base. Under the tutelage of coach Hiroshi Arakawa, Oh developed his distinctive "flamingo" leg kick. His batting average jumped from .161 in his rookie season to .270 in 1960, and his home runs more than doubled. His performance dipped slightly in both statistical categories in 1961, but Oh truly blossomed in 1962. He was a five-time batting champion and fifteen-time home-run champion, and won the Central League most valuable player award nine times. In 1977, Sadaharu Oh became the first recipient of the People's Honor award.