» October 4, 1958:
A Tokyo schoolboy star named Sadaharu Oh is
signed by the Yomiuri Giants for a bonus of Y13,000,000
(about $55,000). Oh will become one of the most famous
players in baseball, setting many world hitting records.
» April 26, 1959:
Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits the first of 868 career home runs.
» June 26, 1959: The "Emperor's game," the greatest in Japanese baseball history, is played by the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers, with Emperor Hirohito and his wife attending at Tokyo's Korakuen Stadium. The game is tied 4–4 in the 7th on Giants rookie Sadaharu Oh's 2-run home run, then won 5–4 in the last of the 9th on a home run by the Giant's Shigeo Nagashima. This starts the famed "O-N cannon," the hitting combination of Oh and Nagashima, that will bring the Giants nine pennants between 1965 and 1973. In all, the O-N cannon hits dual home runs in 106 games.
» May 3, 1964:
Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits four home runs in one 9-inning game against the Hanshin Tigers to set a Japanese record, and tie the American major-league record held by seven players.
» May 5, 1964: To foil Sadaharu Oh, the Hiroshima Carp use an exaggerated shift that places all fielders in right and center, leaving LF unguarded. Oh responds by hitting a 400-foot home run to RF.
» September 28, 1964:
Sadaharu Oh hits his 55th home run of Yomiuri's 130-game season. It is his highest total and a Japanese record.
» June 6, 1972:
Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants (Japanese League) hits home runs 499 and 500.
» September 20, 1972:
Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits a home run to set a new Japanese record of seven home runs in seven consecutive games. Dale Long in 1956 hit in eight straight, and several players have hit in 6.
» May 30, 1974: Sadaharu Oh becomes the first player in Japanese baseball to hit 600 home runs. Only Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays are ahead of Oh—and he will surpass them all.
» September 24, 1974:
Clarence Jones of the Kintetsu Buffaloes hits his 38th HR to become the first American to win a Japanese HR title, topping the Pacific League in
roundtrippers. Sadaharu Oh will lead the Central League with 49 homers. Jones will lead the league again with 36 HRs in 1976.
» October 12, 1974:
Sadaharu Oh draws his 166th walk in a 130-game season, setting a Japanese record. At his retirement in 1980, Oh will hold the all-time world record for walks, 2,504, topping Babe Ruth's record of 2,056.
» November 2, 1974: The Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Brewers for OF Dave May and a minor league pitcher to be named later. Aaron will finish his ML career in Milwaukee, where he started it in 1954. Meanwhile, Aaron, the home run king of American baseball, and Sadaharu Oh, his Japanese counterpart, square off for a home run contest at Korakuen Stadium. Aaron wins 10–9.
» July 23, 1976:
In a game against the Taiyo Whales, Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits his 700th home run, the only player in Japanese baseball to do so.
» October 11, 1976:
In the last of the 8th, leading the Hanshin Tigers
4-1 with 2 out and a full count, Sadaharu Oh
socks his 715th HR to pass Babe Ruth's mark. He finishes
the season with 716 HRs and takes aim at Hank Aaron's
» July 19, 1977:
While pursuing Hank Aaron's home run record, Sadaharu Oh breaks one held by Babe Ruth when he draws his 2,057th base on balls.
» August 31, 1977: Hank Aaron's mark of 755 career home runs is tied by Sadaharu Oh.
» September 3, 1977: Sadaharu Oh hits the 756th home run of his career to surpass Hank Aaron's total and make him the most prolific home run hitter in professional baseball history.
» April 1, 1978: Starting off with a bang, Japanese star Sadaharu Oh hits a grand-slam home run on Opening Day. It is his 757th home run.
» August 30, 1978:
Sadaharu Oh hits his 34th season home run and the 800th of his career. The ball lands in the shoe of a fan who had removed it to feel more comfortable.
» November 4, 1980:
Forty-year-old Sadaharu Oh, professional baseball's all-time home run king with 868 in 22 seasons in Japan, retires.
» September 24, 2001:
Former MLer Tuffy Rhodes, playing for the Kintetsu Dragons, hits his 55th homer to tie Sadaharu Oh's Japanese League single season home run record. His homer, off hard-throwing Daisuke Matsuzaka comes at home and gives the Buffaloes a 7–6 win over the Seibu Lions. He'll hit no more as Tuffy will see few good pitches from here on out.
» October 2, 2002:
Alex Cabrera hits his 55th home run of the season, off Osaka reliever Akira Okamoto, to tie the Japanese League record set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and matched by Tuffy Rhodes last year. Like Rhodes, Cabrera will see few good pitches for the remaining games.