For years, American kids have grown up idolizing Major League Baseball players. They have reveled in the magic of the game, enjoyed listening to their grandparents’ stories about Babe Ruth, their parents’ stories about Hank Aaron, and have been making baseball memories of their own over the last few years with stars like Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds, and Pedro Martinez.
There are approximately 15,000 high school baseball fields across the U.S. with kids talking about their favorite current MLB players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Jose Altuve. There have always been stars in baseball and there always will be. It seems as though one particular 23-year-old star is different than all the rest.
Shohei Ohtani might be the only player in the last 100 years who can even hold a candle to Babe Ruth comparisons. The 23-year-old from Japan has only a few MLB games under his belt, but he’s already a star in Japan, in Los Angeles, and his stardom is rapidly growing across the rest of the MLB and the globe.
Ohtani, like the Babe, is attempting to play and thrive in the majors as both a pitcher and position player. So far, it’s been going better than anyone expected.
According to The New York Times, Ohtani won his first career major league start against the Oakland Athletics, going six innings, allowing only three hits, and striking out six batters.
“Personally, I feel like I got off to a good start, and obviously the team went 3 and 1 on the first road trip, so I’m very happy with the results, Ohtani said through an interpreter.
The two-way growing star wasn’t done having a great first week of his MLB career, however, homering in his very first at-bat in his very first home game for the Angeles.
And even that wasn’t all for the new rising star of baseball. One day after hitting his first career home run, he did so again, only this time off Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
It was less than a week and Ohtani already turned the sports world upside down.
It’s also possible for you to hit like Ohtani. You could train with coaches or try using a shaved bat to hit homeruns. (Of course, if you do the latter, you’ll want to use it only during rec times and be sure to store it somewhere warmer than 65 degrees.)
Baseball is in a great place right now with so many talented young players, but there is no one carrying more excitement at the moment than “the Japanese Babe Ruth.”