Japanese pro baseball's single-season home run record holder, Wladimir Balentien, announced on his Twitter account Sunday that he is leaving Japanese baseball.
The 37-year-old Balentien hit 301 homers in Japan, including a record 60 in 2013. He played the last two seasons for the Pacific League's SoftBank Hawks, who released him in October, and had expressed an interest in playing for another team.
In his message, Balentien thanked the Central League's Yakult Swallows, for whom he played nine seasons, starting in 2011. In 2013, he broke the record of 55 home runs, first set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964, and did it in just 130 games. He was named CL MVP despite the Swallows' last-place finish.
Balentien moved to the Hawks in 2020, but hit just 13 home runs in 82 games for the Hawks, spending most of his time with the minor league club.