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The Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani is the leading home run hitter in the majors this season and has been selected to pitch and hit in the All Star game as well as competing in the Home Run Derby - (Erik Drost - photo)

 

Former New York Yankee Hideki Matsui - (Keith Allison Photo)

 

 

Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics Larry Bird in Game two of the 1985 NBA Finals at Boston Garden Date 30 May 1985 - Steve Lipofsky www.Basketballphoto.com

 

 

SPORTS NOTES - OHTANI FEVER - Shohei That Is

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

Now in his 3rd season in the major leagues Shohei Ohtani is coming into his own and starting to bloom. At present he is on target to challenge the home run record of 60 set by Babe Ruth the last two way player. Ruth accomplished his home run record while focusing only on hitting. Ohtani continues to pitch and hit at the same time. Will he achieve what Ruth did? Stay tuned… - THIS DAY IN THE NBA - NBA's ALL TIME BEST PLAYERS 1st and 2nd TEAMS

 

Monday July 5, 2021

Shohei Ohtani aka Show-tani,' Is Busting Out All Over

When we published our story on the Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani in May Ohtani was one of the leading home run hitters in Major League Baseball (MLB). That was then this is now, Ohtani has been selected to bat and pitch in this seasons All Star game July 13th. He becomes MLB's first two-way All-Star. Ohtani received 121 votes in balloting by players, managers and coaches announced three days after fan-elected starters as the AL's starting designated hitter. Ohtani is the sixth player with 30 home runs and 10 steals in a season prior to the All-Star Game since the event was first contested in 1933, but there's more from the Japanese sensation.

***

Trivia Questions: Nikola Jokic was this seasons NBA MVP. The question is... who was the NBA's first MVP and in what year?

***

"The guy's going to participate in Home Run Derby, pitch in the game and hit in the game. That doesn't happen like, ever," Angels manager Joe Maddon said after speaking with AL skipper Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay.

Maddon added, "Everytime he swings the bat it looks like it could be a home run. He has the patience to draw a walk and then is a really aggressive and astute base runner. And then he pitches. He's always prepared and under control. It's an All-Star performance above and beyond."

For those not in the know the Home Run Derby is a contest between selected players to only bat to see who can hit the most home runs. Usually the batter can chose who will pitch to him. Whoever pitches must help the hitter, not get them out and get the ball over the plate to the hitters sweat spot to help them smash home runs. It's held a day before the All Star Game.

In May we compared Ohtani to the last great two way player Babe Ruth. Ruth's pitching days were largely behind him by the time the All-Star Game started in 1933. Ruth made one pitching appearance that year, the final one of his career on the last day of the season. He last pitched with regularity in 1919. Ohtani also broke Babe Ruth's HR mark for most in a season with 10 or more games pitched. Ruth had 29 homers in 1919 for the Boston Red Sox.

Ohtani became the third player to have 30 or more home runs before the All-Star break in the past 10 seasons, joining Chris Davis in 2013 (37) and Christian Yelich in 2019 (31).

Currently Ohtani is hitting .278 with a major league-leading 31 home runs and 67 RBIs placing him in 3RD place among MLB statistic leaders. He is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 83 strikeouts over 60 innings in 12 starts on the mound.

As a hitter early in the season Ohtani was struggling but in June he found his rhythm and groove. He batted .309 with 13 home runs and 23 RBIs, along with going 2-0 with 33 strikeouts in five pitching starts. He finished the month by homering in 11 of the past 14 games.

Ohtani passed Mike Trout on Friday for the most homers in Angels history before the All-Star break. He is also the first player in American League history to record 30 homers and 10 stolen bases in his team's first 81 games of a season.

Ohtani extended his own major league record for the most homers in a season with at least 10 games pitched. With his 29th and 30th home runs on Friday, Ohtani tied and passed Babe Ruth's record of 29, set in 1919.

His 31 home runs ties him with former New York Yankee Hideki Matsui's record for the most homers in a Major League Baseball season by a Japanese-born player. Matsui needed 159 games to hit his 31 homers for the Yankees, while Ohtani has done it in just 81 games for the Angels while also making 12 starts on the mound.

Ohtani's six multihomer games (three this season) are tied with Matsui for the second most by a Japanese-born player (he trails only Ichiro Suzuki's seven). And with his two homers against the Baltimore Orioles, Ohtani reached 13 in his past 15 games, the most in any 15-game span in Angels history.

He upped that total and now has hit 14th homer in the past 17 games. Some of his most recent HR's are shocking viewers for their distance. Not only can he hit them, he hits them a LONG WAY.

Ohtani will pitch once more prior to the All Star game. As we mentioned in May Ohtani is a breath of fresh air for baseball and for the world in general. His performance are receiving praise from American sports pundits.

His mature behavior in his success is endearing him to his teammates and fans around the world. If there is a representation of why can't we all just get along Ohtani sets the example of JUST DO IT. Ohtani can do for the MLB what Yao Ming did for the NBA.

Trivia answer: Bob Pettit in the 1955-56 season.


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

July 5, 1992 The Dream Team won the final game of the Basketball Tournament of the Americas against Venezuela 127-80. The US team won all six games, by an average of 5l.5 points.


 

NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy

1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

 


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