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Sadaharu Oh

Zen And The Art Of The Flamingo Stance

Giants' batting coach Hiroshi Arakawa guided Oh to perfect his swing. The two began a training method that involved Zen and martial arts to master mental, physical, and spiritual focus. Oh took samurai sword lessons so he could hit curveballs. He studied aikido for patience, practiced kendo for hip action and a downward swing, and focused his ki (life energy) from his shoulders to the bat.

To counter Oh's hitch and gain balance when he swung, Arakawa and Oh developed Oh's foot-in-the-air stance with his right foot raised as the ball reached home plate. This "flamingo" batting style was similar to American Mel Ott's, yet each was developed independently. Oh was known to practice his batting 30-40 minutes per day.

It has been reported that no one before Oh or since has duplicated this famous stance. With it, Oh was able to begin his amazing streak of batting records. After gaining new balance, his first two times at bat he singled and struck a home run.

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Famous Sports StarsBaseballSadaharu Oh Biography - Zen And The Art Of The Flamingo Stance, Home Run Record, From Player To Manager To Hall Of Fame - SELECTED WRITINGS BY OH: