in 1961, while mantle and maris became the slugging duo on the baseball planet, the yomiuri giants produced a 25 year-old third-baseman named shigeo nagashima. he won the leagues mvp award. he hit .353, with 28 homeruns in 448 at bats. sadaharu oh was a young team-mate, at the age of 21 years.
this is significant, as u will see. from 1961 going forward over the next 17 years, until 1978, there are only three (3) total japanese league players who won mvp awards, THAT WEREN'T WON BY ANY OTHER JAPANESE LEAGUE PLAYER, OTHER THAN SADAHARU OH, OR SHIGEO NAGASHIMA, both of the yomiuri giants. sadaharu oh won the mvp award nine (9) times, and his third base team-mate won the mvp award five (5) times.
but, this gets better. an undisgraced slugger, who could never come to america to play in the major leagues.
off the top of my head, i made comment about sadaharu oh hitting .355, in a league where the average batter hit .235. will correct that now that i have been refreshed. his leagues composite median batting average was .237. missed it by 2 one-thousandths of a percentage point, in recall.
this is where this is heading, not just sadaharu oh. but what defines a slugger in any league. a batting average 118 points above the rest of the league.