Bass returns to Japan to mark Hanshin anniversary

OSAKA, Japan (AP) Former Japanese league baseball star Randy Bass returned to his old team on Friday to mark the 30-year anniversary of one of its biggest moments on the diamond.

On April 17, 1985, Bass and two of his teammates on the Hanshin Tigers hit three straight home runs in the seventh inning against the Yomiuri Giants.

Bass, now 61, will attend a Tigers game against the Giants at Koshien Stadium to mark the occasion on Friday.

”Thirty years ago today, we hit back-to-back-to-back home runs and it was a very special day in the history of the Hanshin Tigers,” Bass said at an event at a Hanshin department store.

During his baseball career in Japan, the American won four consecutive batting titles and back-to-back Triple Crowns in 1985 and 1986.

In 1985, he was on a pace to break Sadaharu Oh’s record of 55 home runs in a single season, but fell short by one because in the last game of the season the pitcher from Oh’s Giants threw only intentional walks.

He helped the Tigers win the Japan Series championship in 1985 but the team hasn’t won again since.

Bass left Japan in 1988 and was elected to the Oklahoma state Senate in 2004.