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The performance was special this time. Alex Ramirez celebrated on his way around the bases, kissing two fingers and pointing at the sky between first and second, but his patented post-home run ritual was missing as he was congratulated by the rest of the Yokohama BayStars.

Nothing extra was needed, not after Ramirez, NPB’s consummate showman, provided all the drama necessary by breaking into Japanese baseball’s revered 2,000-hit club with a solo home run during the BayStars’ 6-3 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Saturday at Jingu Stadium.

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