Shohei Ohtani, the most exciting player in Major League Baseball this year, will be honored by MLB with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. The award recognizes players who have achieved “impressive feats that transcend their sport solely because of their impact on how baseball is perceived.”
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 03: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates his first-inning home run against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington on October 03, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Steph Chambers) )
ANAHEIM, Calif. (CBSLA) — Shohei Ohtani won the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award on Tuesday before World Series Game 1 in Houston, adding to his already long list of honors.
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Ohtani is just the 16th player to win this award, with Derek Jeter and Vin Scully receiving it in 2014. The honor was created in 1998 by then-Commissioner Bud Selig, who presented it to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa for their memorable home run chase.
Ohtani won the award for his outstanding performance as a two-way player in the 2021 season, when he hit.257 with 46 home runs and 100 RBIs at the bat and pitched 130.1 innings with a 9-2 record, 156 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.18. He’s also the first player to be selected to the All-Star Game as a batter and pitcher.
Ohtani, as expected, was modest about his accomplishment. “This award is not handed out every year, so I realize how unique it is,” he told the Los Angeles Times. I’m not sure whether I really deserve it, but if Mr. Manfred is willing to offer it to me, I’ll take it.”
He is the second Japanese-born player to get the award (Ichiro was the first), and the fourth international-born player.
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ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the third inning of an Angel Stadium of Anaheim game against the Oakland Athletics on September 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Manfred presented the prize for the first time after assuming office as Commissioner in 2015. The prize was also given to the following people:
- McGwire, Mark (1998)
- Sammy Sosa is a baseball player from the United States (1998)
- the Mariners of Seattle (2001)
- Cal Ripken, Jr. is a baseball player from the United States (2001)
- Tony Gwynn is a professional baseball player (2001)
- Barry Bonds is a baseball player who is known for his (2002)
- Rickey Henderson is an American country music singer-songwriter (2002)
- Roger Clemens is a baseball player who is well-known for his (2004)
- Suzuki, Ichiro (2005)
- Clemente, Roberto (the only posthumous recipient, 2006)
- Robinson, Rachel (wife of Jackie Robinson, 2007)
- Ken Griffey, Jr. is a baseball player from the United States (2011)
- Mariano Rivera is a baseball player who plays for the New York (2013)
- Derek Jeter is a baseball player who plays for the New (2014)
- Scully, Vin (2014)
Ohtani has a long number of notable accomplishments to his credit in his early career, including: 2019 American League Rookie of the Year, 2021 All-Star, 2016 Japanese Series Champion, five-time Nippon Professional Baseball League All-Star, 2016 Pacific League MVP, two-time Pacific League Pitcher Best Nine, Designated Hitter Best Nine, and two-time Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize – the highest honor bestowed upon one of Japan’s best players or teams.
This season, Ohtani is up for multiple accolades, including MVP, Cy Young, AL Silver Slugger for Designated Hitter, and Player of the Year and AL Outstanding Player in the Player’s Choice Awards.
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Ohtani also got to watch Game 1 of the World Series as a spectator, as the Atlanta Braves won 6-2 to take a 1-0 series lead against the Houston Astros.