Murakami Becomes Youngest Triple Crown Winner in Japan Baseball


Tokyo, Oct. 3 (Jiji Press)--Munetaka Murakami of the Yakult Swallows, a Central League team, became the youngest player in the history of Japanese professional baseball to win the triple crown, after the final game of the season on Monday.

The 22-year-old infielder rewrote the previous youngest-age record of 28, set by Hiromitsu Ochiai in 1982.

Murakami ended the season with .318 batting average, 56 home runs and 134 RBI (runs batted in).

He became the eighth player in Japan ever to win the triple crown and the first in 18 years, since Nobuhiko Matsunaka received the honor in 2004.

In the Central League, Murakami was the first triple crown winner in 36 years, since Randy Bass, then a Hanshin Tigers member, in 1986.

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Jiji Press