Shohei Ohtani Sets Record for Most HRs by Japanese-Born Player in Dodgers History

Ohtani's playful gift sparks laughter in Dodgers' clubhouse.

by Nouman Rasool
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Shohei Ohtani Sets Record for Most HRs by Japanese-Born Player in Dodgers History
© Harry How/Getty Images

In a lighthearted moment that captured the spirit of baseball camaraderie, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently suggested that Shohei Ohtani should present him with a Porsche upon breaking his record for the most home runs by a Japanese-born player on the team.

True to his playful nature, Ohtani responded—not with the luxury car Roberts might have envisioned but with a whimsical twist. Before the Dodgers faced the Atlanta Braves on Friday, Ohtani gifted Roberts a toy model of a purple Porsche, now proudly displayed on his office desk.

This amusing exchange foreshadowed Ohtani’s historic achievement during Saturday's game against the Braves, where he not only entertained but also made his mark on the field. Ohtani hit his eighth home run of the season, a majestic solo drive to right-center field, during the third inning of the Dodgers’ decisive 11-3 victory.

This powerful shot allowed him to surpass Roberts’ record, setting a new benchmark for future Japanese players in the Dodgers' roster.

Gifts and Gestures

Roberts humorously recounted the gift before the game, saying, “He did buy me a car.

I guess I didn't specify what type of car. So I can't say he never gave me anything”. The jest highlighted the strong rapport within the team, underscored by Ohtani’s previous gesture of gifting a Porsche to Ashley Kelly, the wife of Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly.

This gift was a thank-you for Joe Kelly relinquishing his jersey number 17 to Ohtani when the latter joined the Dodgers last December. Ohtani’s prowess on the field is further accentuated by his surpassing of Hideki Matsui's record for the most home runs by a Japanese-born player earlier in the month.

Matsui, who retired with 175 home runs, previously held the record after a distinguished 10-year career in Major League Baseball. Reflecting on his achievement, Ohtani expressed his relief and satisfaction with a smile, embodying the blend of competitive excellence and light-heartedness that defines his approach to the game.

As Ohtani continues to break records and forge his path in MLB, his influence extends beyond his athletic prowess, enhancing the camaraderie and spirit of the sport.

Shohei Ohtani Dodgers
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