Ramirez: Record is ‘blessing from God’


Yomiuri Giants slugger Alex Ramirez carved out a place for himself in Japanese baseball history by recording his eighth consecutive season with at least 100 RBIs with a two-home run, five-RBI performance against the Chunichi Dragons on Thursday at Tokyo Dome.

Ramirez entered the game with 99 RBIs but surpassed Sadaharu Oh’s mark, set from 1963-69 with a three-run home run in the first inning off Chunichi pitcher Kazuki Yoshimi. He added a two-run homer later in the game.

“It’s a blessing from God to be able to accomplish something like this,” Ramirez said. “Oh-san is a legend. To be able to be in the same category in something with him is an honor.”

Ramirez’s record-setting night comes seven years to the day he began his current streak while a member of the Yakult Swallows.

The Venezuelan power hitter is one of the most prolific foreign hitters in NPB history. Ramirez is in his 10th season in Japan and has 328 home runs and 1,084 RBIs.

“His condition is really good,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “As his manager, I’m proud of him and his accomplishments.”