Thursday, August 8, 2013

Alfonso Soriano Has 2000 Worldwide Hits

Suzyn Waldman made it known during the Yankees post game show that the Japanese media was surrounding Alfonso Soriano. When she approached Ichiro Suzuki, she was told that Soriano with his 2-3 performance today places him at 1,999 hits in the MLB. In addition, Soriano had two hits during his brief stint in Japan which has him at 2,001 hits. Why is this important?

In order to be eligible for the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame a player must start his Professional career in Japan AND must have a total of 2,000 hits (including hits in MLB). So Alfonso Soriano is now eligible to be inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

In case you didn't know, Soriano started his career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the NPB Central League. He played the 1996 season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp's farm team and was promoted to the main team where he went 2-17 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored, 4 Ks and 2 walks. In a move similar to Hideo Nomo's, Soriano hired agent Don Nomura to negotiate his free agency from Japan. He retired in Japan exploiting the "voluntary retirement" loophole as Nomo did a year earlier and signed a contract with the New York Yankees in 1998 against the protests of the NPB. This, Nomo's departure and the situation with Hideki Irabu would lead the NPB to enact the posting system that is in place between the MLB and the NPB.

Two interesting articles that go deeper into this are Robert Whiting's Irabu's impact on MLB-NPB relations profound (Oct 16, 2011) and Contract loophole opened door for Nomo's jump (Oct 10, 2010)

Congratulations to Alfonso Soriano on his international achievement. As with his return to the New York Yankees this season, he might be able to go home again this time to Japan if he is ever inducted into their Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sisco Kid

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