Playback] A blessing hit in the middle of a hot kiss! The night Valentin became the most homeruns of the year | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Playback] A blessing hit in the middle of a hot kiss! The night Valentin became the most homeruns of the year

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Astrid commented to the sports paper, “He’s a diamond of a son.”

What did “FRIDAY” report 10, 20, and 30 years ago? In “Playback Friday,” we take a look back at the topics that were popular at the time. This time, we bring you “Valentin: A Hot Kiss from a Miniska Mom on a Historic Night” from the October 4, 2001 issue, which was published 10 years ago.

On September 15, when typhoon No. 18 was approaching the Kanto area, a great record was set that blew away the bad weather. Vladimir Valentin (29 at the time) of the Yakult baseball team hit home runs No. 56 and 57 in a game against the Hanshin baseball team at Jingu Stadium, breaking the record for the most home runs hit in a season for the first time in 49 years.

On such a historic night, Valentin appeared on Fuji Television’s “Suport! and his mother, Astrid (64 at the time), who had come to Japan to watch the big night, came home to find him celebrating with champagne and a bouquet of flowers. They celebrated with champagne and a bouquet of flowers!

─ ─ Congrats!

Thank you~!”

He must have been tired from the game and TV appearances, but he responded in a friendly manner. He also said to his mother, “You have a wonderful son,” and kissed her son passionately on the cheek.

Please keep up the good work and hit 70.

I don’t know.

─ By the way, what are your plans for tomorrow (travel day)?

“Just relax. I’m relaxed, hahaha.

He then struck a “good night” pose by clasping his palms together next to his cheeks. Ever since Ichiro told him to follow a disciplined lifestyle when he was with the Mariners, Valentin has always slept 10 hours a night, except when the day after a night game is a day game. His innocent and friendly personality, in which he strikes cute poses, has not changed even after he achieved a major record.

A native of Curacao in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Valentin joined Yakult in 2011 after playing for the Mariners of Major League Baseball and other teams. In fact, he did not join the team with the expectation of becoming a home run hitter. However, he became the homerun king in his first year, even though his batting average was the lowest among those who reached the batting average requirement. The following year, in 2012, he again won the home run crown, although he was unable to reach the regulation batting average due to a malfunction.

In that season of ’13, Valentin eventually improved his home run record to 60 and was named MVP of the Central League, despite the team’s last-place finish. He left Yakult in the off-season of ’19, and spent the ’20 and ’21 seasons with Softbank, but left Japanese professional baseball after failing to achieve the results he had hoped for.

He has been with the Mexican League since ’22, and in November he announced his retirement after the WBC, saying “I have many good memories left at the end,” when he lost in the first round of the WBC in March of this year. However, he has since withdrawn his retirement and announced his participation in the Mexican Winter League.

When Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami (23) was closing in on Valentin’s home run record in 2010, Valentin told Jiji Press in an interview that he would be happy if Murakami surpassed his own record: “I don’t want him to say 60, I want him to surpass 60, or 65, or whatever number nobody can come close to anymore. I want him to exceed 60, not say 60, and I want him to hit 65 or something that no one else can even come close to. As a result, Murakami finished the season with 56 homers, second on the all-time list. Valentin’s record has yet to be broken, and his name remains in the annals of Japanese professional baseball.

Astrid had arrived in Japan three days earlier. She was told that she was angry with him because she could not reach the professional baseball tie record of 55 runs, so she asked him, “Why didn’t you wait for me? she said angrily.
  • PHOTO Tetsuko Takemoto (1st), Shinji Hamasaki (2nd)

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