It was what is being widely considered as not only the greatest season in baseball history, but also the greatest season in sports history. We all know how big of a draw he was in the United States, but did you know just how big of a draw he currently is in Japan?
You probably have an overall idea of him being very popular back home in Japan of course, but just how popular will blow your mind. GQ found something out that speaks to how much of an international sensation ShoTime truly is:
GQ found there are 20 journalists in Japan whose full-time job is to cover not the Angels/MLB, but just Shohei Ohtani.
This insane fact about Shohei Ohtani actually makes sense, as he was everywhere for the LA Angels. Not only did he play in 155 games offensively, but he also started 23 on the mound and seven in the outfield. He seemed to make history every single night.
I myself was interviewed a few times by Japanese media outlets about Ohtani, and I was only about two months into my job. Ohtani was probably getting interviewed several times per DAY, and that's only the interviews that came from Japanese journalists. There were of course much more.
After all, there was never a day where any sane person wouldn't want to talk to Ohtani. He's the same dude who hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 RBIs, and scored 103 runs while going 9-2 on the mound with a 3.18 ERA and 1.090 WHIP. On top of all that, he was named the fastest baserunner in the AL by his peers.
Even more impressive, he did this coming off of recent Tommy John surgery. Nobody was expecting this from Ohtani. They accepted that he had sky-high potential, but nobody came out and declared that Ohtani would have the type of season he had.
They were scared to. And the joke was on them, because Ohtani proved them horribly wrong. It's why he deserves every bit of attention he gets, and there's quite a bit coming from back where he's from in Japan.