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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

"It’s Show-time". Go! Shohei.

Updated: May 4, 2022

I am not a baseball fan and rarely watch games, but Shohei Ohtani's outstanding performance in the Major Leagues is truly special and I can't help but pay attention to him.

Being a two-way player, the best pitcher, and hitter at the same time, his unconventional was hard to be accepted in Japan. So he wanted to play in the U.S., where his unique style can be widely recognized.

Unfortunately, there is a saying in Japan, "出る杭は打たれる(Deru kui wa utareru), meaning "Sticking nail will be hammered down". There is a strong social tendency to suppress any attempt to stand out from the crowd or deviate from the norm. However, it is also said that "the one who stands out too much will not be beaten," and Ohtani is a perfect example of this.

His big dream to become a major leaguer came true in 2018 and it turn out to be truly a golden path for him and all.

He was named Major League Baseball's MVP for the year 2021 and was on the cover of Times Magazine in April 2022. All this at the age of only 27.

He is a player who genuinely loves baseball, and the way he plays hard reminds viewers of the pure feeling of playing on the grass fields as a young boy.

Isn't he a rising star in that sense in the highly competitive sports industry where big money, fame, and drugs harm players' souls?

The doping case of a young beautiful Russian figure skater at the Beijing Olympics (2021), which was due to power harassment by her coach was shocking news for me. Without that kind of case, COVID-19 pandemic for a long time has left the society in a dark mood, so Ohtani's accomplishment must have appeared very bright and cheerful to the public (including myself).

I saw him featured on a Japanese TV program and was impressed by how humble and gentlemanly he is, yet how serious he is about his game and how much he truly enjoys it.

Above all, he looks just like his father.

Although his father did not become a professional baseball player, he played baseball enthusiastically even after he became a working adult himself, and was the coach of Shohei's baseball team when he was a child.

They kept an exchange diary and supported Shohei mentally as a young player.  

The father is still active and still coaching a local youth baseball team.

His family environment was also wonderful and was like a role model.

I feel that Shohei Ohtani is a person who embodies the ancient Japanese virtues not only as a great athlete but also as an individual.

I look forward to seeing more of his achievements in the future.⚾



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