Shohei Ohtani, baseball’s amazing two-way standout, was unanimously named the American League Most Valuable Player for 2021 on Thursday.
Ohtani, 27, is coming off a historic season in which he starred for the Los Angeles Angels on both the pitching and at the plate, a feat that has garnered comparisons to Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.
He is the second Japanese-born MVP, following Ichiro Suzuki, who won the American League MVP award in 2001 while playing for the Seattle Mariners.
Ohtani had 23 appearances as a starting pitcher, winning nine games and losing two. 156 batters were struck out by the Japanese pitcher.
He blasted 46 home runs and drove in 100 runs in 155 games, second only to the 48 home runs hit by Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals and Vlad Guerrero of the Toronto Blue Jays. He also had a total of 26 base steals.
Ohtani’s offensive ability also qualifies him as the only player in American League or National League history to hit 45 home runs, steal 25 bases, and hit five triples in the same season.
Ohtani joins teammate Mike Trout in winning the American League MVP award. Trout won the award in 2014, 2016, and 2019 despite missing the most of the 2021 season due to injury.
Ohtani was congratulated by Trout on his accomplishment. In a tweet, Trout said, “It’s been something wonderful to experience what you’ve accomplished as a teammate.” “You’ve created a season all your own.”
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan spoke out on Friday. “It’s an extraordinary accomplishment and as a Japanese citizen, I feel very proud,” he remarked.
Ohtani thanked teammates, Angels fans, and his manager in an interview with MLB Network on Thursday. He also made care to thank the doctor who operated on his elbow in 2018 with Tommy John surgery.
After being chosen first on the ballot by the 30 voters of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Ohtani became the 11th baseball player to be unanimously voted AL MVP. Guerrero of Toronto finished in second with 29 second-place votes and one third-place vote, according to the BBWAA.
Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies was named the 2021 MVP of the National League by the BBWAA.
Harper was chosen first by 17 journalists and second by nine others, securing his triumph over Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres, who finished in second and third, respectively.
Harper previously earned the NL MVP award in 2015 while playing for the Washington Nationals.
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