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Date: July 30, 2004
The ironman was on a mission. And not a even broken wrist was going to stop him.
Playing in his 698th consecutive full game (no innings off) on July 29th, Tomoaki Kanemoto needed just 3 more games to match the NPB record of 700, set by Hideshi Miyake of the Hanshin Tigers back in 1962. With the game heading to the twelfth inning, it looked as though he would set himself up to tie the record on the final day of the month, and break it in August. However, while standing at the plate with no outs and a runner on first, he took the second pitch of the at bat squarely on his left wrist.
Despite being in obvious pain (bone fracture was the postgame prognosis), he took first base rather than end his streak. (Akihiro Yano ended up bringing home the game-winning run later in the inning.)
Well, doctors recommended he take two weeks off, but the very next day, using a light bat borrowed from teammate Teruyoshi Kuji, Kanemoto swung one-handed, spraying singles to left and right.
The following day, he laid down a bunt and legged it out for an infield single. Two days later, the consecutive games record was his, but he had to delay the start of the press conference as the pain from icing his injured wrist was too unbearable for him to speak. Just over a week after that, he was back to hitting home runs.
Tough. As. Nails.