Sadaharu Oh Had Rare Flair For Hitting Homers Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Wednesday, 28 April 2010

 But He’s Not The Only Japanese Player To Hit 500+
   
Giants' batting coach Hiroshi Arakawa guided Oh to perfect his famous Flamingo bat swing. The two began a training method that involved Zen and martial arts to master mental, physical, and spiritual focus. Oh took samurai sword lessons so he could hit curveballs. He studied aikido for patience, practiced kendo for hip action and a downward swing, and focused his ki (life energy) from his shoulders to the bat.

To counter Oh's hitch and gain balance when he swung, Arakawa and Oh developed Oh's foot-in-the-air stance with his right foot raised as the ball reached home plate. This "flamingo" batting style was similar to American Mel Ott's, yet each was developed independently. Oh was known to practice his batting 30-40 minutes per day.

It has been reported that no one before Oh or since has duplicated this famous stance. With it, gained remarkable balance and set the table for powerful Japanese home run hitters who followed, including several who are credit with 500 or more long balls:  

 Japanese Home Run Hitting Stars   

1. Sadaharu Oh: 868 Home runs
2. Katsuya Nomura: 657
3. Hiromitsu Kadota: 567
4. Koji Yamamoto: 536
5. Kazuhiro Kiyohara: 514
6. Hiromitsu Ochiai: 510
7. Isao Harimoto: 504

 





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