Shohei Ohtani ties Hideki Matsui’s MLB home run record

Shohei Ohtani ties Hideki Matsui’s MLB home run recordShohei Ohtani ties Hideki Matsui’s MLB home run record
via MLB
Bryan Ke
April 15, 2024
Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani has made baseball history by matching his idol Hideki Matsui’s record for most home runs in the MLB by a Japanese-born player.
Key points:
  • Ohtani unleashed his 175th career home run during a game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger stadium on Friday. The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Padres 8-7.
  • With the recent feat, Ohtani is now tied with Matsui, who with 49 homers, holds the record for the most home runs made by a Japanese-born player in MLB history. Matsui made 175 home runs in his 10-season MLB career, which began in 2003 and ended in 2012.

The details:
  • Ohtani’s record-tying homer, which went toward left center field, was pitched by San Diego Padres starter Michael King. His pitch traveled 107.3 miles per hour.
  • Ohtani ended Friday night’s game with a batting average of 24-for-68 (.353) with four home runs for the current season.
  • “It’s an honor to be on the same stage as [Matsui],” Ohtani told reporters through his interpreter, Will Ireton, “He’s known as a power hitter. Left-handed hitter like me. It’s just an honor to be associated with somebody like that.”
  • Ohtani made his first home run while wearing the Dodgers uniform during a game with the San Francisco Giants on April 3.
  • The Friday night game was Ohtani’s first since federal investigators charged his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, with bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. Mizuhara is accused of stealing approximately $16 million from Ohtani to pay his illegal sports gambling debt.
Catching up:
  • Mizuhara surrendered himself to authorities and made his first federal court appearance in downtown Los Angeles on Friday. The former interpreter did not enter a plea during his 25-minute proceedings.
  • He was released on a $25,000 bond. Judge Maria Audero ordered Mizuhara to undergo gambling addiction treatment and instructed him not to make any contact with Ohtani or any bookmakers.
  • Following the proceeding, Mizuhara, through his attorney Michael Freedman, apologized to Ohtani, the Dodgers, the MLB and his family. He also vowed to continue cooperating with legal process. He is scheduled to return for arraignment on May 9.
  • When asked by reporters on Friday for comment about Mizuhara’s case, Ohtani said, “For me personally, this marks a break from this, and I’d like to focus on baseball.”
 
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