Sakamoto Breaks NPB On Base record to Start a Season

The Yomiuri Giants star shortstop Hayato Sakamoto broke a Central League record for most consecutive games reaching base to start the season. The old record was 35 consecutive games. Sakamoto delivered a first inning single in the Giants 4-1 loss to the Yakult Swallows to extend his on base streak to start the season to 36 games, breaking the old record held by Tomoaki Kanemoto back in 1997. The NBP record is 40 games held by Steve Ontiveros back in 1983.

The chances of Sakamoto going into the major leagues is slim to none. Even though he is one of the better players in Japan, the Giants, like the Softbank Hawks do not post their players. The players have to wait to become free agents, and by that time they are past 30 and not as attractive to major league teams.

For those interested, the record hitting streak in Japan is 33 games by Yoshihiko Takahashi of the Hiroshima Carp in 1979. The record for consecutive games on base is held by Ichiro Suzuki, who got on base in 69 consecutive games back in 1994.

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