Shohei Ohtani, 29, has become the first Japanese hitter to lead the major leagues in home runs. With the Major Leagues completing a 162-game season with two days per team, Ohtani leads the American League in home runs with 44. He trails second-place Adolis Garcia (Texas Rangers) by five with 39 arches. It’s the first time a Japanese hitter has won a major batting title in 19 years, since Ichiro Suzuki won the title in 2004 while wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform. The major league leader in home runs is Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves, who played in all 162 games and crossed the fence 54 times. Ohtani’s 44 home runs rank fourth in all of Major League Baseball.
SoftBank Chairman Sadaharu Oh, a legendary Japanese home run king, praised Oh’s rise to the American League home run title, saying, “Ten years ago, no one would have even thought of becoming a home run king.” “It takes a certain kind of person to be a home run king in the major leagues, and he has built his body to be physically unbeatable,” Oh said. “We’re looking up at the major leagues, and he’s looking down,” said Sadaharu Oh. “He’s made a place in American baseball history, and I’m looking forward to seeing how many more years he can do that. As a pitcher, I don’t think he’s going to be able to do it for much longer, but as a hitter, I hope he’s going to do it for another 15 years or more.”안전놀이터
Despite not finishing the season, Ohtani is one of the strongest MVP candidates in the American League. In 135 games this season, Ohtani batted .304 (151-for-497) with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. In addition to his home runs, he also ranked first in slugging percentage (.654) and OPS (1.066). While he didn’t play a ton of games, he also excelled on the mound, starting 23 games and pitching 132 innings, posting a 10-5 record with 167 strikeouts and a 3.14 ERA.
After the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 at home on Sunday to finish the season with a 73-89 record, Ohtani took to social media to say, “I am truly grateful for everyone’s support over the course of the season and will begin rehabilitation soon. I will do my best to come back stronger than ever.” Ohtani, who underwent surgery to repair ligaments in his right elbow, will focus solely on hitting in the 2024 season.
Meanwhile, Japan Post announced today that it will release a customized “Premium Frame Stamp Set” commemorating Ohtani’s home run crown.