HomeBad Ass AsiansOhtani breaks home run record for Japanese players

Ohtani breaks home run record for Japanese players

On Sunday, Shohei Ohtani broke the record for the most home runs hit by a Japanese player in all of Major League Baseball History.

The Los Angeles Dodger slugger crushed his 176th career homer in the third inning of the Dodger’s 10-0 over the New York Mets at the Dodger Stadium, driving Adrian House’s pitch deep into the right field bleachers. Ohtani’s blast traveled over 423 feet with a 110-mph exit velocity, and put the Dodgers up 2 – 0. While Ohtani didn’t homer in his previous seven games, he went 2-for-3 with a single, and a walk and two runs scored in the Dodger’s most recent victory, which broke a three-game losing streak.

Ohtani has also broken the previous record held by former New York Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui for the most records hit by a Japanese-born person in MLB. Ohtani also beats Matsui’s record by just one homer.

“It’s awesome”, said teammate Tyler Glasnow. “I’m sure he’ll have a lot more records while we’re playing here.”

Ohtani had looked up to Matsui as a role model when he was growing up in Japan. When ESPN asked Ohtani about the record in an interview, he said that it was “not something I was cognizant of when I first started my career here, but I got to know about it.” ESPN also asked  if Ohtani hopes to emulate Matsui’s playoff poise if he reaches the post-season. He jokingly responded that “he currently is more focused on breaking manager Dave Roberts’ record for the most homers by a Japanese-born player in a Dodgers uniform.”. Roberts currently leads Ohtani 7-5.

“Hideki Matsui was a great ballplayer, a great home run hitter, a world champion”, said Roberts in an interview with ESPN, “I know that Shohei admired him, so for him to eclipse that mark, it’s a big deal. I know whatever kind of mark is ahead of Shohei, he’s trying to take them all down.”.

This homer was the fifth in Ohtani’s first 24 games with the Dodgers, who he signed a $700 million contract with last winter. Ohtani previously hit 171 homers in six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. The Dodgers are currently set to take on the Washington Nationals in a three-game series starting Tuesday, April 23.

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