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04/09/09 3:08 AM ET

Tuffy Rhodes hits 444th HR in Japan

Best remembered in US for three-homer day in 1994

Former Major Leaguer Tuffy Rhodes continued his legendary Japanese baseball career Wednesday, hitting his 444th homer in the Asian country to tie Yomiuri Giants slugger Shigeo Nagashima for 12th place on Japan's all-time list, according to The Associated Press.

Rhodes, 40, and in his 13th season in Japan after parts of six big-league seasons in the United States, hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning as his Orix Buffaloes beat the Seibu Lions, 10-2.

Rhodes hit 13 homers during his career in the Major Leagues, which spanned 1990-1995 and included stints with the Cubs, Astros and Red Sox. He is best remembered for hitting three home runs on Opening Day in 1994 off then-Mets ace Dwight Gooden at Wrigley Field.

He is the active home-run leader in Japanese baseball, although he's nowhere near all-time Japanese home-run king Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 long balls in his storied career.

But Rhodes did tie Oh for the Japanese single-season home-run record, clouting 55 for the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 2001.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.