Shohei Ohtani's Dodgers Debut Jersey Joins Hall of Fame Exhibit

Josh Rawitch honors pivotal Dodgers-Japan baseball connections

by Zain ul Abedin
Shohei Ohtani's Dodgers Debut Jersey Joins Hall of Fame Exhibit
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Even before Shohei Ohtani ever played a game with the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was great expectation for the type of historic influence he would bring to the team. So now, a premature relic from Ohtani's early days with the Dodgers finds a place within baseball history.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is preparing for a new exhibit called the Transpacific Baseball Exhibit. Among them is the jersey Ohtani wore in his first homestand as a Dodger. The jersey he wore during games against the St.

Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants from March 28 to April 3 is a time capsule, a representation of an epic moment, not only for Ohtani but also for the Dodgers. This exhibit, coming in at the time of the induction of Ichiro Suzuki, further memorializes the greatest Japanese ballplayers in American and Japanese baseball at that very same time.

In addition to his jersey, the exhibit will feature a ball from the 1996 no-hitter game against the Colorado Rockies thrown by Hideo Nomo and thousands of other items from Ichiro's storied MLB career.

Rawitch Reflects on Legacy

Josh Rawitch, in a recent blog post reflecting on the long-standing link between the Dodgers and Japanese baseball: "How fortunate was I to begin my career in 1995 amidst Nomomania under the O'Malley family that had brought baseball to Japan in the 1950s? I’m proud to share a ball from Nomo’s first no-hitter and a jersey from the Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani donated during his first homestand with the franchise”.

And Ohtani is not alone in accomplishing things never before done in this gear; his rare ability to dominate on both sides of the hitting and pitching floors set new standards in Major League Baseball. It's a 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers, by far the biggest in professional sports history Ohtani just tears down barriers.

This season alone, he has maintained impressive stats, achieving two hits in 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position. With Ohtani's memorabilia being the only items from a current player featured in the exhibit, his influence stretches across the Pacific, underscoring the growing impact of Japanese players in American baseball.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, aptly noted, “Japanese players are taking American baseball by storm,” a testament to Ohtani’s unprecedented dominance in the sport.

Shohei Ohtani Dodgers