Sunday, September 3, 2017

September 3, 1977 - Sadaharu Oh Hits Home Run #756

40 years ago today Sadaharu Oh hit his 756th home run to pass Hank Aaron as the "World Home Run" rccord holder.  It's kind of funny - Aaron hit his last home run on July 20, 1976 so he only held the record for about 13 and a half months. (UPDATE - Yeah, I'm an idiot.  Aaron would have become the record holder when he passed Ruth in April of 1974 so he held the record for roughly three years and five months.)

Here's a clip of Oh's entire at bat that ended with the home run:

As you might expect there have been baseball cards dedicated to this event over the years.  Calbee actually issued a 95 card series for Oh in 1977 that gave his career history and covered the actual home run - there's a card of Oh and Aaron in the series that is quite valuable.  I don't have any of the cards from this series but I swiped some images from Yahoo! Japan Auctions:

1977 Calbee Oh #36

1977 Calbee Oh #42

1977 Calbee Oh #54
I don't know if there were any cards celebrating the event in the other card manufacturers at the time - NST, Yamakatsu and Nippon Ham.  NST had a set dedicated to Oh (although it showed other players as well) in 1977 but I don't know if it came out before or after September 3rd.  The event has shown up in a number of OB sets and cards in the "modern" card era however.

The first BBM card I know of that explicitly shows home run #756 is this one from the "Untouchable Records" subset in the 1995 set:

1995 BBM #319
BBM's 2009 biographical set for Oh surprisingly only included two cards for #756 although one of the cards had different photos on each side:

09 BBM Sadaharu Oh #01

09 BBM Sadaharu Oh #01 (Back)

09 BBM Sadaharu Oh #46

Epoch did a set back in 2010 that was dedicated to the 1977 season.  There were five cards in the set dedicated to home run #756:

2010 Epoch 1977 #53

2010 Epoch 1977 #54

2010 Epoch 1977 #55

2010 Epoch 1977 #56

2010 Epoch 1977 #57
That photo on the third card (#55) of the Epoch set of Oh with his arms raised in triumph is iconic.  It has made at least nine baseball cards that I know of (including the Epoch one):

2000 BBM O-N #ON-B24

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #S-04

2004 BBM Giants 70th Anniversary #GB3

2008 BBM Home Run Chronicle #01

2013 BBM Giants Legends #95
2014 BBM NPB 80th Anniversary Batters Edition #94

2014 BBM Giants 80th Anniversary #93

2016 BBM The Ballpark Stories #005
There may be other cards for home run #756 but I think that these are the only ones that I have in my collection.


Dan Skrezyna said...

My favorite version is the 80th Anniversary. I like the glow around him. That looks like all the Mattingly Topps rookie reprint versions, lol.

Fuji said...

Awesome piece of history. I don't bust out my Sadaharu Oh flannel jersey very often... but I just might need to today.