Major League Baseball (MLB) superstar Shohei Ohtani was unanimously awarded the American League’s Most Valuable Player trophy on Thursday, Nov. 18.
Everyone’s MVP: The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) gave the 27-year-old two-way talent all 30 first-place votes, making him the 19th unanimous MVP in league history, according to MLB.
- Speaking through an interpreter, Ohtani thanked the BBWAA writers for the recognition and his “teammates, coaches, manager, everybody that was involved, including the training staff. And all the fans that supported [him] through thick and thin.”
- The athlete also gave a shoutout to his doctor who performed a Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow in 2018.
- In a separate interview with ESPN, Ohtani said he did not make any plans to celebrate the historic win and noted that he was “probably gonna spend a lonely night by [himself] at home.”
- On Friday, Japan celebrated Ohtani’s achievement by lighting up the Tokyo Tower in the Los Angeles Angels’ colors, reported Kyodo News.
- Other unanimous MVPs post-2000 include Barry Bonds, who won the title in 2002, Albert Pujols (2009), Mike Trout (2014) and Bryce Harper (2015). Harper is also this year’s National League MVP.
- Ohtani’s MVP win comes amid a stellar performance throughout the 2021 season, hitting 46 home runs with 100 runs batted in (RBI) and going 9-2 with 156 strikeouts as a starting pitcher.
Betting on Ohtani: A Nevada fan placed a $30,000 bet on Ohtani to win MVP at 30-1 odds with U.S. bookmaker Caesars Sportsbook back in March, costing Caesars over $1 million.
- A representative from the bookmaker said it was the biggest loss they “ever experienced on an awards market.”
- The star athlete opened at 60-1 to win MVP as early as February and soon generated more bets than any other player at most sportsbooks.