Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Career Home Run Leaders #7 (tie) - Isao Harimoto

Tied for seventh on the all time list with Sachio Kinugasa is Isao Harimoto. Harimoto hit 504 home runs during his 22 year career. Like Kinugasa, he is better known for something other than the home runs. In his case, it's that he is the only NPB player with more than 3000 hits. (Ichiro has more than 3000 between NPB and MLB.)

Harimoto broke into NPB in 1959 with the Toei Flyers. Here's his 1960 Yamakatsu "Home Plate Back" menko card:

1961 Marusan menko:

1967 Kabaya-Leaf #409:

He continued playing for the Flyers through their name/ownership changes (Nittaku Home Flyers, Nippon Ham Fighters) through the mid 1970's. Here's his 1974/75 Calbee (#773) card:

In 1976 he joined the Giants and played along side Sadaharu Oh for four years. Here's a 1975/76 Calbee card (#1252) showing the two of them:

1977 Yamakatsu:

1978 Yamakatsu:

He left the Giants for the Lotte Orions in 1980 and finished his career with them in 1981. Here's a 1980 Yamakatsu card:

He got his 3000th hit on May 28th, 1980. Here's the "The Scene" insert card from the 2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 set (#S-07) commemorating this:

Harimoto is my all time favorite NPB player. That card in the upper right corner of the blog is his 1963 Marusho menko card. The card at the top of the post is #829 from the 2002 BBM 2nd Version set.

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