After hitting his 54th of the season yesterday — a feat celebrated both by the present author and also Jeff Sullivan — former Cincinnati and Seattle outfielder Wladimir Balentien hit his 55th home run today for Japanese club Yakult, tying the Curaçao native with Sadaharu Oh (in 1964), Tuffy Rhodes (in 2001), and Alex Cabrera (2002) for the NPB’s single-season home-run record.
Here are some notable reviews of Balentien’s most recent and record-tying effort:
“Playing by its own rules every step of the way, Wladimir Balentien’s 55th home run is clearly the sort that needs to be hit more often.”
– Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
“When you see Wladimir Balentien’s 55th home run, remember to concentrate hard, as paying attention to its small details turns out to be very rewarding.”
– Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
“A ribald Kafkaesque romp, Wladimir Balentien’s 55th home run contemplates the nature of sexual identity and celebrity with a surrealist shtick.”
– Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
“São poucas, as vezes em que podemos realmente dizer ‘Nunca vi algo assim!’. Home run 55 de Wladimir Balentien consegue se encaixar nesta rara descrição.”
– Pablo Villaca, Home run em Cena
“Defies all expectations… [T]ouches you in places you didn’t think a home run could reach. Wladimir Balentien’s 55th home run is everything at once, thoughts, feelings, urges… But it is not total confusion. It does make sense. A lot.”
– Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Home Run Journal
“What it leaves behind is a dizzying sense of exhilaration, like being bathed in champagne.”
– Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.