Shohei Ohtani hits 32nd homer, sets single-season record by Japanese player

Shohei Ohtani

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani made history after hitting his 32nd home run of the year during the fifth inning of their 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

Record-breaker: Ohtani’s major-league-leading homer surpassed the record for the most home runs by a Japanese player, which Hideki Matsui set in 2004 while playing for the New York Yankees, reported ESPN.

  • Ohtani, who became the first player to be selected as both a pitcher and a hitter for the upcoming All-Star Game, pitched seven innings to defeat the Red Sox.
  • Ohtani’s 32 homers are the most made by an American League player since 2013 when Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis hit 37.
  • His 32nd home run is his 54th extra-base hit this season, currently the best in the league.
  • The 27-year-old baseball star has now hit 12 homers in his past 20 games, extending his own franchise record before an All-Star break.

It’s “Shotime”: Matsui showered Ohtani with praises in a statement to MLB, calling his feat as “just a passing point for a hitter like Shohei.”

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  • “He is an amazing pitcher,” Matsui said. “He exceeds what is considered conventional for a major league player, and there is no one else like him. I hope he continues his success this season as he carries the hopes and dreams of many fans and young children. As a baseball fan myself, I can’t wait to see what he is able to do next.”
  • Ohtani revealed through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that he considers replicating Matsui’s achievement “a huge honor” as the player was “someone I’ve been watching as a child growing up.”

A recent feature by Sports Illustrated called Ohtani the best player in the history of baseball, highlighting his phenomenal skills and league-leading scores in home runs and slugging percentage.

Featured Image via MLB

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