Texas Rangers designated hitter Choo Shin-soo picked a dramatic time to make history.
Choo hit a walk-off home run off Kevin McCarthy in the 10th inning on Saturday to give Texas a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Beyond being the game-winning blow, however, it was Choo's 176th career home run, making him the all-time leader in home runs among Asian-born players.
Japanese-born star Hideki Matsui (175) and Ichiro Suzuki (117) are second and third on the list, followed by Kenji Johjima (48), Kosuke Fukudome (42) and Choi Hee-seop (40).
Choo had tied the mark on Friday and expressed surprise when a security guard brought him the ball, because he did not realise he had tied a record. Now, he and the Rangers are hoping the ball he hit for the record Saturday will surface. Someone in the Royals bullpen got the ball and tossed it to a fan in the bleachers. The Rangers tweeted out details of the search.
The 35-year-old Choo, a native of Pusan, South Korea, is in his 14th MLB season. He downplayed his brush with history Friday, saying it only meant he had been around a long time.
"I am not a home run hitter. I've just played in this league a long time. That's not my focus," Choo said (via Star-Telegram.com).
"[Matsui] only played 10 years in the big leagues. If he had played longer, he would have more home runs than me. Somebody was going to break the record."