Shohei Ohtani has taken over the baseball world but did you know that he considered giving up on baseball in order to go to the Olympics in a different sport? These are some special facts about Shohei Ohtani that are hard to know.
First, let’s take a look at why you will find Shohei Ohtani’s name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
8. Guinness World Record Holder
We all know how great Shohei Ohtani has been in the MLB. In short succession, he has become the face of the league and one of its biggest superstars. A reason for this rapid accession and superstardom has been his record-setting play.
Who doesn’t like watching a player make history?
And that’s exactly what Shohei Ohtani did in 2021 when he was named to the Guinness World Records for two titles. The titles were for becoming the first player in history to throw 100-plus innings and strikeouts as a pitcher and hit 100-plus RBIs, hits, and runs in a single season.
If that feat wasn’t amazing enough, he followed that up by becoming the first player to start the MLB All-Star Game as a pitcher and designated hitter. He also threw a scoreless inning in the game on July 13 at Colorado’s Coors Field and went hitless in two at-bats. And during the Home Run Derby that year, he hit 28 of them. Talk about someone who can do it all.
Next, let’s see what Ohtani does when he has nothing to do at all.
07. Favorite Pastime
The life of a pro athlete can be pretty regimented. From the time they wake up, to their team practice sessions, individual sessions, diets, and even rest time is usually scheduled into their calendar weeks ahead.
And not to mention all those hours spent traveling from one city to another and of course the game itself. So, it’s vital for an athlete to have something that breaks up that routine or at the very least takes their mind off the game so they can relax.
And for Shohei Ohtani, this comes in the form of manga and movies. For you Americans, Mangas are Japanese comics that are huge all over the world. You’d think that Ohtani’s favorite manga would have to do with baseball or fighting but surprisingly his favorite manga is ‘Slam Dunk’.
It doesn’t take too much detective work to figure out what that manga is about. Ohtani even said that reading Slam Dunk has made him interested in playing basketball even though he isn’t good at the sport. As for movies, Ohtani naturally loves sports flicks but once again his choice of movies might surprise you.
It isn’t basketball-themed rather, his favourite movies are about football. Two of his go-to movies are Rudy and Remember the Titan. If we’ve learned anything about Ohtani it’s that he’s got stellar taste in entertainment. But one thing that might be surprising to learn is that we are all spelling his last name wrong.
06. Ohtani or Otani?
Every immigrant understands the troubling concern of having a name that can be pronounced by other people. Some people bite the bullet and keep their name as it is and spend their time correcting people on how to pronounce their names. While others choose the path of changing their names to fit in better in their new environment.
Well, Ohtani went with a blend of these two different ways.
After coming to America, Ohtani wasn’t sure how to spell his name correctly in English. When filling out the paperwork, he decided to put the H in his last name. So his actual last name is Otani rather than
Ohtani. Maybe it’s best to just call the Japanese superstar Showtime or The Unicorn. Although the real Unicorn in the family might be his mother.
05. His Mom Is Better Than Him
Sure, when it comes to baseball, Ohtani has his folks beat but there are other sports in the world, too. Both of Ohtani parents are pretty athletic. His dad played baseball while his mother played badminton until the Industrial League in Japan. Now, his dad has no shot at beating Ohtani
But Ohtani’s mother would say the same thing when it comes to badminton. In fact, To this day, Ohtani says that he has never beaten his mother in a badminton match. That’s one way of keeping your superstar
son in line. It also seems like Ohtani gets his competitive spirit from his mother rather than his father because you really have to be ultra-competitive to never even give your son one pity win.
But showing no mercy must have paid off as now, Ohtani shows no mercy to anyone in the MLB. Nor did he take it easy against his high school competition.
04. Ohtani’s High School Feat
Ohtani had been on the scouts’ radar for a while before he made his MLB debut. In fact, MLB scouts knew his name as far back as 2012 when he set a Japanese high school record by throwing a 99.4-mph pitch for Hanamaki Higashi High School.
Ohtani originally wanted to sign with an MLB organization out of high school but instead started his career with Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2013. Even though this move delayed his coming to America and playing in the MLB, it paid dividends as he was able to sharpen his skillset and round out his game.
And don’t think that 99.4 mph pitch was accidental or luck. Before he reached that speed, he was already pitching mid-90s before a year-long training that led to his record-breaking speed at such an early age. No wonder the scouts were ready to pry him out of Japan. After all, it didn’t take long for him to etch his name alongside a baseball legend.
03. Ohtani’s Connection With Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Anytime your name is being uttered in the same sentence as Babe Ruth it’s a good thing. Especially when it comes to hitting home runs. Ohtani and the legendary slugger Babe Ruth are the only two players in the history of the majors to hit at least 10 home runs and win 10 games as a pitcher in the same season.
Ruth accomplished the feat 104 years prior to Ohtani in 1918. So, it only took 104 years for another phenom to come into the league. That just goes to show you how rare and incredible the feat is. But even before that, Ohtani was known for his strength. In fact, in an exhibition game against the Netherlands, he hit a ball so hard that it got stuck in the ceiling of the Tokyo Dome. Players and fans were confused as to why the a ball that was struck never landed.
He earned the reputation of a powerful hitter which translated smoothly in the MLB and if you don’t believe that, just check the record books. And the secret behind his record-setting play might be something you didn’t expect at all.
02. Ohtani Is A Serious Sleeper
As exercise science continues to improve and involve, one thing has become abundantly clear, we need proper sleep in order to perform to our best capabilities. It seems as if Ohtani was ahead of this discovery as he has always been a heavy sleeper.
In fact, Ohtani credits his sleeping habits to his on-field success. Rather than getting the usual 6 to 8 Horus, Ohtani sleeps 10 or more hours every day. And you’d think that’s plenty to keep him going the rest of the day but Ohtani makes
sure to get his frequent naps into his baseball routine, too. He’s so dedicated to his sleeping routine that he has custom pillows that are stuffed with extra material in order to maintain their height. Maybe sleep is the secret juice behind Ohtani’s superstardom. We wonder if his sleeping habits would have translated into him becoming a swimming star.
01. Could Have Been An Olympic Swimmer
It seems as if Ohtani was always destined for an athletic career. Back in his high school years, Ohtani’s coach made them swim workouts every day. And it just so happened that he was the fastest swimmer on his team. That’s a little annoying to learn, isn’t it?
How can someone be good at everything they do?
But anyway, Ohtani even earned the swimming coach’s praise, saying that he could earn a spot in the Olympic team if he pursued the sport. However, his dad had a different idea in mind. As we mentioned before, Ohtani’s pop was a baseball player himself and would play catch with Ohtani and his brother every day. They would even watch the sport on television regularly.
Even though Ohtani only considered baseball a hobby back then, things would change over time and his interest blossomed. Thankfully for us fans, he decided to stick with his first love instead of pursuing a career in a different sport.
With that being said, you just read us break down these Special Facts About Shohei Ohtani.