Decided to retire! Valentin’s face broke right after he achieved the record, as shown to this magazine | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Decided to retire! Valentin’s face broke right after he achieved the record, as shown to this magazine

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We hit him when he came home the night he hit home run No. 56, a Japanese record for home runs. Valentin receives a passionate kiss from his mother

Vladimir Valentin (38), who played for the SoftBank Hawks until last season, announced his intention to retire with next spring’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a springboard. In an interview with Central American Media, Valentin said.

I’ve had a wonderful 22 years. It hasn’t been easy.

I’m happy with my career so far.

I am satisfied with my career so far,” he said. This year’s professional baseball season was dominated by Munetaka Murakami, who became the first Japanese player to hit 56 home runs and the youngest player ever to win the Triple Crown at the age of 22. However, Murakami’s feat may have reminded many fans of Valentin’s feat in 2013, when he set a Japanese record with 60 homers.

Until then, there was an unwritten rule in Japanese professional baseball: “You can’t beat Sadaharu Oh’s (82) record of 55 home runs,” said Murakami, “Randy Barth (Hanshin) hit 54 in 1985, Tuffy Rose (Kintetsu) hit 55 in 2001, and Alex Cabrera hit 60 in 2002. Alex Cabrera (Seibu) hit 55 in 2002, but was unable to break the record after that because of a four-run bombardment. However, Valentin in 2001 reached 55 in his 122nd game at an overwhelmingly fast pace, so everyone was in a mood of anticipation and celebration for his new record,” said a reporter from a sports newspaper.

The new record was set on September 15 at Jingu Stadium in a game between Yakult and Hanshin.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, Valentin hit a liner into the middle of the left-field bleachers, and the crowd went wild. The crowd was on its feet. They shouted in unison, “Banzai! Banzai! and the entire stadium celebrated the achievement of a new record for the first time in 49 years.

That night, the baseball player himself appeared on Fuji Television’s “Suport! and his mother, Astorito, who was in Japan that night, came home. She handed him a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne, and when he called out to her

Thank you!

and a big smile on her face. She smiled and kissed her son passionately on the cheek. The photo at the beginning of this article was taken at this time. Finally, when the reporter asked him, “Please hit 70 at this rate,” he replied, “Ummm… I don’t know…

He said, “Well, I don’t know. (Tomorrow) I’ll be just relaxed. I’m going to hit 70. Hahaha.

With that, he clasped his hands together next to his cheeks, struck a “good night” pose, and went into his house. Valentin later won the MVP award, bringing his record to 60 runs. The Yakult team finished last in the season that year, but it was the first time in history that a player from a last-place team won the award.

One day, Murakami may break this Japanese record. But the memory of this feat will remain etched in the hearts of fans for a long time to come.

He smiled at the photographer who was waiting for him when he returned home. The next day, he and his mother enjoyed sightseeing in Tokyo.
Valentin a few games before setting a new record. The second half of the year was all about Valentin.
  • PHOTO. Shinji Hamasaki (1st and 3rd) Tetsuko Takemoto (2nd)

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