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Meet Shohei Ohtani: Five facts to know about baseball star who has signed biggest deal in sports' history

Published at :December 25, 2023 at 10:27 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:33 AM
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Ajay Gandhar

Japanese baseball sensation has inked a staggering $700 million deal with Los Angeles Dodgers.

In a historic move that has sent shockwaves through the world of sports, Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani has inked a staggering $700 million 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This monumental deal, as per reports, has set a new benchmark in the sports contracts, outshining even the colossal four-year deal of $674 million that football legend Lionel Messi signed with Barcelona.

The announcement came after weeks of speculation about where the Japanese athlete would land in free agency.

This record-breaking contract not only underscores Ohtani’s immense value in the world of baseball but also signifies a seismic shift in the financial landscape of sports. It’s a clear indication that the market for top-tier athletes like Ohtani is robust and thriving.

In surpassing Messi’s contract, Ohtani’s deal has redrawn the boundaries of what’s possible in sports contracts. It’s a game-changing moment that will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for future negotiations in the sports world.

Here are five amazing facts about Shohei Ohtani:

Athletic family

Shohei Ohtani’s parents have played a significant role in his athletic career. His father, Toru Ohtani, was an amateur baseball player in the Japanese Industrial League, and his mother, Kayoko Ohtani, was a national-level badminton player during her high school years. Ohtani’s father introduced him to baseball at a young age, and his mother’s athletic background likely influenced his passion for sports. Ohtani’s exceptional talent in baseball is a testament to his family’s support and his own hard work and dedication.

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Guiness world record holder

The Japanese became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs and win 10 games as a pitcher in the same season. Thereafter, Ohtani also became the first player to start the MLB All-Star Game as both a pitcher and a designated hitter.

His outstanding performance earned him two Guinness World Records titles: most home runs by a pitcher in a single season (46) and fastest pitch by a pitcher to hit 100 mph and a home run in the same game (101 mph and 451 feet).

Two-way player

Shohei Ohtani is one of the rarest talents in baseball history, as he excels at both pitching and batting at the highest level. He has been compared to legendary two-way players such as Babe Ruth and Bullet Rogan, who also dominated the game with their arm and their bat. Ohtani has achieved remarkable feats in both aspects of the game, such as:

Pitching: He has a career ERA of 3.32 and a WHIP of 1.13 in 63 starts, with 573 strikeouts in 388 innings. He has thrown a no-hitter, a one-hitter, and a 10-strikeout game. He has also hit 100 mph on the radar gun multiple times.

Batting: Ohtani has a career slash line of .282/.362/.593 with 137 home runs and 338 RBIs in 435 games. He has also stolen 51 bases and scored 281 runs. He has hit for the cycle, a grand slam, and a walk-off homer. He has also led the league in slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases.

Influential figure

Shohei Ohtani’s inclusion in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 is a testament to his extraordinary talent and impact on baseball. His unique ability to excel both as a pitcher and a batter, a feat not seen consistently since Babe Ruth, has revolutionized the game.

Beyond his on-field prowess, Ohtani is also admired for his character. He is known to be a gentleman off the field, earning the respect of his teammates, the media, and fans. Ohtani’s influence extends beyond baseball. As a global sports icon, he inspires millions around the world with his skill, sportsmanship, and humility.

Manga Reader

Shohei Ohtani, the baseball sensation, is also a passionate manga reader. His favorite manga is “Slam Dunk”, a basketball-themed series by Takehiko Inoue, and he has read it multiple times, with Akira Sendo being his favorite character. Interestingly, Ohtani’s love for manga has influenced his professional life as well; he used the first ending song of “Jujutsu Kaisen” as his walk-up music.

He also grew up reading “Major”, a manga series about a baseball pitcher who could also hit home runs. Ohtani’s love for manga and anime extends beyond his personal interests and has made a significant impact on pop culture.

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