Okay, randomly this guys name came up today while I was at work. Took the time to pull up his early 80's cards on the interwebs to see that fine combo of big glasses and mullet and thought, maybe I should read up on this cat on wikipedia and thought I'd share a great story on there.
Hope it's true as the link is dead now:
Sakata was the catcher (a position he did not usually play) when Tippy Martinez picked three Toronto Blue Jays off first base in the tenth inning of the August 24, 1983 game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. The Orioles had replaced their starting catcher and his backup while rallying to tie the game in the ninth inning. Three consecutive Blue Jays hitters reached first base and each one, thinking it would be easy to steal a base on Sakata, took a big lead. Martinez picked off all three base runners. Sakata hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth to win the game.
Ain't baseball awesome!
Three more interesting facts about Sakata:
He is the second Asian-American ever to play in the Major Leagues.
He’s a member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.
He was the starting shortstop when Cal Ripken, Jr. began his record consecutive games streak. Ripken was playing third base in his rookie season, and swapped positions with Sakata in July.
Nice story. Baseball is awesome.
Nice coaching there, Jays.
I remember Lenn Sakata cards from when I started collecting. The hair that looked like a perm or naturally poofy, the big glasses, the two ns in Lenn. Unusual looking guy for baseball, but the early 80s had all sorts of interesting looks.
Lenn was one of the first players in the 1980's to work out extensively with a Nautilis Machine. He was also one of the shortest players in the league (reportedly 5'8"). He worked out so much on the Nautilis that he developed a barrel chest and huge shoulders. His teammates called him the midget wrestler.
I'm sure most of you know this. The 10th inning home run that Sakata hit was off of Randy Moffitt, he is the younger brother of Billie Jean King.