BASEBALL | It is unanimous! Shohei Ohtani wins the 2021 American League MVP Award



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Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani was unanimously selected for the American League MVP award, as announced in New York on Thursday, November 18.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hailed Ohtani’s MVP performance. “It’s a great achievement and I’m very proud of him as a Japanese,” said Kishida, according to the NHK.

Ohtani’s name was made the first choice on all 30 ballots of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

In a season unlike any other in major league baseball in more than a century, Ohtani became the first player to pitcher and move on a regular basis since the great Babe Ruth.

Response to the announcement on MLB networkWho broke the news, said 27-year-old Ohtani, “I am extremely happy.”

“I would like to thank all the BBWAA authors who voted for me,” he said through the interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

“I would also like to thank my teammates, my coaches, my manager and everyone involved, such as the training staff. And all the fans who supported me through thick and thin. And also the doctor who operated on me. “

A full-time designated hitter for the Angels, Ohtani cracked 46 home runs, by far a record for Japanese players in the major leagues, beating Hideki Matsuis 31 for the New York Yankees in 2004. He had 26 doubles, eight threes and 100 RBIs. He stole 26 bases and scored 103 runs. As a starting pitcher, Ohtani was 9-2 in 23 starts. A fireball right-handed with a devastating split-finger fastball, Ohtani hit 156 thugs in 130⅓ innings.

In addition, the pride of Oshu, Iwate Prefecture was the first player this season to ever hit more than 30 home runs and more than 15 starts on the hill.

In addition, he was also the AL starter mug and Leadoff hitter in the MLB All-Star Game 2021, which has never been done before. And the day before in July he took part in the Home Run Derby.

As a pitcher and feared hitter, Ohtani set ambitious goals for 2021, his fourth MLB season. (He was the AL rookie of the year 2018.)

“The MVP is something I shot at,” said Ohtani. “I think every player is as long as he plays professionally.

“But I’m more grateful for the fact that American fans and American baseball embraced and embraced the whole two-way idea compared to when I started in Japan. It made the transition easier for me, and I’m grateful for that. “

In 1918, Ruth was 13-7 for the Boston Red Sox, hammering 11 home runs. In 1919 he was 9-5 years old and hit 29 homers. After the New York Yankees took over Ruth, he became a full-time outfielder in 1920. Larger than life, Ruth became a cultural icon and player whose power-hit performances revolutionized the game, and became the MLB homerun king (714 homers). He retired in 1935, and his record stood until Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves reached his 715th place in April 1974.

In the AL MVP vote, Toronto Blue Jays bat Vladimir Guerrero Jr. appeared as the second choice on 29 ballot papers. Guerrero led MLB with 48 home runs. Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez took second place.

Philadelphia Phillies bat Bryce Harper was named a National League MVP. Harper received 17 out of 30 first place winners. He beat .309 with 35 homers, 42 doubles and 84 RBIs. Harper won his first MVP award with the Washington Nationals in 2015.

Angel’s teammate Mike Trout, the 2014 AL MVP, weighed in on Ohtani’s super season.

“Shohei’s season was just all electric,” Trout said in a statement. “Sometimes I felt like I was in the Little League again. To see a player throw eight innings, hit a home run, steal a base, and then play the right field was amazing. However, what impresses me most about him is the way he behaves on and off the pitch. With so much on his plate every day, he still manages it with a smile. “

Beyond statistics

Statistics alone didn’t define Ohtani’s best MLB season. He caused a stir at the ballpark, social media, and fan and media interest in everything he did. And its catchy nickname “ShoTime” aptly describes how watching and reacting to what the former Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters player did is a favorite pastime for baseball fans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred paid tribute to Ohtani a few weeks ago when the media spotlight peaked during the World Series.

After presenting the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award before Game 1 of the Fall Classic on October 27, Manfred Ohtani said: “In the next few years I know that there will be many, many awards and accolades. But I felt that 2021 was so special that it was important to recognize the historic achievement that was achieved in 2021 with an award shortly before 2021. “

It’s been a whirlwind for Ohtani since the Angels played their last regular season game on September 30.

He won the American League Silver Slugger Award for Designated Hitters. He was also voted MLB Player of the Year by sports news, Baseball digest and Baseball america.

Ohtani also performed at the Japan National Press Club on Monday, November 15.

During his extensive interview session, Ohtani reflected on his sensational season and spoke openly about how he would stay healthy throughout the campaign. He has been plagued by arm and elbow problems as a pitcher for the past few seasons. He was operated on by Tommy John in 2019.

“I was happy that I was able to compete well with other top players in terms of strength and physicality,” said Ohtani The Asahi Shimbun, alluding to his all-star experience. “I realized I could do something like this.”

Despite his growing list of personal accolades, Ohtani has made it clear that victory is his top priority.

The Angels did not make it into the playoffs last season and finished fourth in the five-man AL West with a 77-85 record.

“It was pretty difficult for my team to win,” said Ohtani during his appearance at the Japan National Press Club. “The second half of the season was one of the toughest times mentally since joining the Major League,” he said. “But it’s been a great year, even during the times when I felt down.”

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forwards [Japan Sports Notebook] here sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week and twitter ed_odeven.

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