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Tuffy’s making things look easy in Japan.

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The Orix Buffalo’s Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes mashed three homeruns on Sunday, making him the 12th player in Japanese baseball history to reach 450 homeruns.

In 2001, Rhodes accomplished a similar feat when he tied Sadaharu Oh’s then-record for single season homeruns. His Japanese competitors, unwilling to destroy a legend’s record, famously pitched around Rhodes for the rest of the season, never giving him a chance to break it.

Rhodes, a gaijin playing his 13th season in Japan, spent parts of six major league seasons with the Astros, Red Sox, and Cubs. His time in America was far less memorable, as he sported a paltry .224 average with a measly 13 homeruns. The only real cool thing he did was club three monstrous blasts off Dwight Gooden on Opening Day in 1994.

Rhodes will always be a favorite...

I love Tuffy Rhodes and couldn’t be happier for him. It’s great to see someone excel in baseball, even if it’s not at the “major league level.” Even though Rhode’s success never translated here, his hitting in Japan is the stuff of legend that I will someday tell my children about.


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