Now I’m not sure if anybody pays attention to baseball overseas, but it’s just as popular in Japan than it is over here in the United States.
If you ask some players or sports entertainers in any sport, I’m sure they would tell you that Japanese fans get into what’s going on more than other fans across the globe. You take professional wrestling and MMA for example, they sell out stadiums at almost every event.
Right now the story in Japan is former Major League outfielder Wladimir Balentien is inching oh so closer to the single season home run record.
Balentien who spent three seasons in the Majors with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows back in 2011.
He’s a career .221 hitter with 15 home runs and 52 RBI’s in his three seasons in the States, but he seems to be doing better overseas. Balentien is currently one home run shy of tying the single season record of 55 home runs.
Balentien launched his 54th home run on the season for the Swallows in the first inning of Tuesdays game. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to an injury but has redeemed himself by showcasing power we didn’t see in the States.
With 23 games left, the 29 year old outfielder is set to put himself in the Japanese Baseball record books.
Balentien hit #54 in the first inning vs Hiroshima today. He has 23 games left to hit 2 more.
— Patrick Newman (@npbtracker) September 10, 2013