Video: Japanese Single-Season Home Run Record Falls

Aaron Judge hasn't been the only one chasing a single-season home run record in baseball. In Japan, the legendary Sadaharu Oh had held the record of 55 home runs for a Japanese player, set in 1964. That record has been toppled. And turn up the volume:

Munetaka Murakami hit his 56th home run of the year, breaking the 58-year-old record for Japanese players. He did it in the Yakult Swallows' final regular-season game of the Nippon Professional Baseball schedule. He was greeted at home plate by the mascot who presented him with a "56 Home Runs" sign, which he politely showed to the screaming fans while bowing. 

Like Judge here in North America, Murakami's home run pace had slowed down as he approached the record. He had gone 13 games without a home run after hitting his 54th and 55th on Sept. 13.

Murakami even wears the No. 55 on his uniform, which we can only assume is a tribute to Oh's long-standing record. Perhaps he'll change his number to 56 going forward? 

The all-time record in the NPB is held by Curacao-born Wladimir Balentien, who hit 60 home runs in a season with these same Swallows in 2013.

The 22-year-old Murakami is in his 5th season with the Tokyo team, and finishes the year with an incredible 1.163 OPS. He had averaged 34 HR a year in his previous three seasons. 

Photo: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports