Shohei Ohtani’s Rise to Stardom


(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Anna Kim, Co-Editor in Chief

  All the way from Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, to Los Angeles, California, Shohei Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels to play in the Major League Baseball (MLB) on December 8, 2017. With an injury and lots of training in between, Ohtani finally made a successful MLB pitching debut on Sunday, April 1.

  Going against the Oakland Athletics, Ohtani started the game as the starting pitcher. He surprised the viewers as he threw for 6 innings, throwing 92 pitches, with 63 of them being strikes.  He also struck out six batters during the game. His pitches even hit 100 mph twice in the game. His contribution to his team got him his first career win as the Angels won the game 7-4.

  In a post-game interview with the  interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani stated, “Obviously [I am] very happy. [I am] satisfied with my outing. [I am] more happy the team got the victory.”

  Two hundred and forty people from the Japanese media supported Ohtani at his game. Those at home watched the game on their TVs, while others watched the live broadcast of the game in Japan.

  A fan of baseball, Preston Young (12), said, “I think it is great that Ohtani had such a successful debut. It really sets his game mode for the rest of the season and I think that he is going to do really well with the Angels.”

 Not only did Ohtani start as a non-pitcher on Opening Day, but he also started as a pitcher within his team’s first 10 games, making him one of the only MLB players to do so. The last person who did this was Babe Ruth with the Boston Red Sox in 1919.

  After Opening Day, where Ohtani got his first hit, Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, said, “Shohei put on a display of the type of talent he has … He showed the power. He showed the ability to just square up a baseball, and he had a great night for us.”

  Following their win against the Athletics, the Angels played against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. Ohtani, yet again, showed his athletic ability by hitting his first home run in his first at-bat at Angels Stadium, helping the Angels win the game 13-2.

  Tune into Fox Sports West on Wednesday, April 4 at 4:07 p.m. Eastern time to watch the Los Angeles Angels go head-to-head against the Cleveland Indians.