What most everyone expected has become reality.
Major League Baseball named Shohei Ohtani the American League Most Valuable Player Thursday, Yahoo Sports reported.
Ohtani thrilled fans by hitting 46 home runs while also going 9-2 as the ace of the California Angel pitching staff with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts.
It was the most remarkable performance by a two-way player since the legendary Babe Ruth.
“Growing up I watched Ichiro and he won MVP, and it got me wanting to play in the big leagues someday,” Ohtani said through an interpreter to MLB.com. “Hopefully, I can be that kind of figure to the kids watching me right now. And hopefully even one day I could play with one of those kids that are watching me, which would be very special.”
Ohtani garnered all 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writer’s Association of America. Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. finished second and Marcus Semien finished third.
According to CBS Sports, Caesars Sports Book placed 30-1 odds on Ohtani to win the MVP before the season.
One better placed a $30,000 bet to win $1 million.
“It’s going to be the biggest loss on that type of market ever,” William Hill (now Caesars Sportsbook) assistant director of trading Adam Pullen told ESPN. “It’s going to stick out as a line item when you see award betting and a big minus.”
Ohtani’s teammate Mike Trout marveled at what Ohtani accomplished this season.
“Shohei’s season was nothing short of electric,” he said to MLB. “At times, I felt like I was back in Little League. To watch a player throw eight innings, hit a home run, steal a base and then go play right field was incredible. What impresses me the most about him though, is the way he carries himself both on and off the field.”
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