[3/31/2016] Shun Takayama blasts first career home run

Shun Takayama blasted the first home run of his NPB career during a Yakult game on March 31. The home run led off the start of the game and came against Kyle Davies. Takayama is the first rookie in franchise history since Tomochika Tsuboi in 1998 to hit a lead-off home run for his first career blast.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/31/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 6:54am]

Thirty Japanese players, including Takayama, recorded lead-off home runs for their first career home runs (eleven Central League, fourteen Pacific League, five single league). The last player before Takayama was Shogo Nakamura in 2015. Of the thirty, ten were rookies, including Takayama and Nakamura (seven since the two league format began in 1950).

Since the start of the two leagues, three players have recorded lead-off home runs in the top of the first inning for their first career home runs: Yuki Miyazaki in his second year in 2012, Seiya Suzuki in his second year in 2014, and Takayama in his first year in 2016.

Takayama joined Yoshito Fujino (July 1, 1944) as the only rookies in NPB history that can say their first career home run was off the first pitch of a game.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Sanspo 4/1/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 91 58 31 2
Yokohama 90 47 40 3
Hanshin 87 46 41 0
Yomiuri 90 41 48 1
Chunichi 92 39 50 3
Yakult 90 31 57 2
G W L T
Rakuten 83 56 26 1
Softbank 91 59 32 0
Seibu 88 49 37 2
Orix 88 38 49 1
Nippon Ham 90 33 57 0
Lotte 88 29 58 1
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