If you’ve followed Japanese baseball, then you know that Shohei Ohtani has come a long way for his twenty-three years of age. Several students have mentioned the player so when reviewing current events, the name captured my eye. Ohtani crossed the ocean, opting to play for L.A.. In November of 2017, there was a ruling that clarified the spelling of his name as Ohtani, not Otani, so that Western fans have since become fully aware. Shohei Ohtani and Babe Ruth, are names often spoken in the same breath, as both have set similar records. Ohtani has become known as a double threat or two-sword samurai, as stated by a Reuter’s news report back in 2014.
The pitcher-hitter stands at a reportedly 1.93 meters which translates to roughly six foot three or four inches, depending on the journalist reporting. Formerly a player for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League, Shohei has carried his nickname as
the Babe Ruth of Japan to the US where he recently became a rookie for the Los Angeles Angels.
Even though this rookie is a newcomer imported from Japan and doesn’t speak English, he commands the language of baseball to new heights: Ohtani is the first Major League player in ninety-nine years, to accomplish two wins and three runs for his team’s first ten games. The last person to do the same was Jim Shaw, a Washington Senator’s player, back in 1919. Newbie Ohtani has joined the ranks with Babe Ruth (1916) and Ken Brett (1973), as the only players in the history of the Major Leagues, to achieve a double-digit strikeout game and a home run in three consecutive contests. Indeed, Ohtani was off to a phenomenal start at Angels Stadium by homering his first ever at-bat. Shohei has already racked up three homers and seven RBI’s, or runs batted in, with an amazing .389 batting average. Knowing that it’s almost impossible for anyone to accomplish the ultimate batting score of .400 for a season, makes one wonder how close this newcomer will be to setting another record that earns the status of best baseball player of all time.
Yet, Ohtani maintains a humble sense of humor, admitting that he never pitched a no-hitter in Japan, but that his best outing likely occurred during elementary school. Seeing as it’s only mid-April and Ohtani is just ten games into the season with the LA Angels, there’s still plenty of time to up the anti. So, look out baseball world. There’s a new guy tearing up the field and the fans are loving it!
For more on Shohei, search the net. His baseball genius is everywhere!