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Move over for Oh-san
Frank Deford
August 15, 1977
Sadaharu Oh's hokey-pokey, bat-on-helmet style may look funny, but any day now Japan's national hero should break Henry Aaron's home run record
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August 15, 1977

Move Over For Oh-san

Sadaharu Oh's hokey-pokey, bat-on-helmet style may look funny, but any day now Japan's national hero should break Henry Aaron's home run record

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And then, strangely but surely, the only pressure left will be upon us, upon baseball in the United States.

There will be a day in August 1982 when Henry Aaron will stand proudly upon a platform in Cooperstown, N.Y., to be presented with a bronze bas-relief of himself. Then it will go upon the wall inside. The people will cheer him, a band will play, the photographers will photograph and demand that his wife Billye kiss him again. The sunlight will bounce off Lake Otsego and the breezes will push down the Susquehanna. Maybe there will be another player or two up there with Aaron. Maybe Frank Robinson, who hit 586 home runs; maybe Eddie Mathews, who hit 512; maybe Al Kaline, who hit 399; maybe Roger Maris, who hit 275; maybe Sadaharu Oh, who hit 861 before he retired in 1981.

What a glorious thing that would be if Mister Oh stood with Mr. Aaron on the threshold of Cooperstown. What a great day for baseball. What a great day for American baseball.

But, of course, the Special Committee will put in another octogenarian umpire from the Federal League, instead.

Seriously now, do you think Joe DiMaggio could have hit in 56 straight games in Japan?

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Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Hirosi Arakawa 1 0 0
Sadaharu Oh 21 0 1
Hank Aaron 243 0 4
Japan 507 0 3
United States 8021 0 232