Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani donated the paycheck he received from the Home Run Derby competition to the team’s support staff as a way to show his appreciation.
As a thank you:
The 27-year-old athlete distributed the $150,000 paycheck to around 30 staffers, including trainers, clubhouse workers and media relations employees on Friday, a source told The OC Register
- Organizers of the competition still gave Ohtani $150,000 for participating even though he lost to Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto in the first round of the Home Run Derby.
- Ohtani and Soto were tied following their regulation swings and a one-minute tie-breaker where they both hit six home runs. In their second tie-breaker, a three-swing swing-off, Soto hit three homers while Ohtani was eliminated after hitting a ground ball on his first go, reported CBS Sports.
- In the end, Ohtani scored 28 home runs during the game.
- Whether it was the $1 million grand prize or the $500,000 runner-up money, Ohtani had reportedly already made up his mind to donate the money he would receive from Home Run Derby.
- New York Met’s first baseman Pete Alonso took home the $1 million prize.
Ohtani was the first Japanese player to participate in the Derby, according to ESPN
- He also became the first-ever player to fill the role as both hitter and pitcher at an All-Star Game.
- Last week, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith discussed Ohtani on ESPN’s “First Take,” noting his use of an interpreter. Smith drew backlash online after suggesting that players who don’t speak English harm baseball’s marketability. Many came to Ohtani’s defense and Smith later apologized.
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