Shohei Ohtani gifted his bat to a cute kid pregame ... and then used a different one to hit his first MLB triple
Before every game, kids line up along the baselines waiting for their favorite player to come by to sign autographs. The more extroverted young fans may ask the player for a ball or a picture.
It takes an even greater level of boldness to do what Leo Guastello did after Shohei Ohtani finished batting practice before DHing against the Royals on Thursday night. He asked for his bat:
"Can I get your bat?"- Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) April 12, 2018
Ohtani laughed, and then left the field after signing autographs. pic.twitter.com/deQFmXYOXg
At first, it ended about how you would expect. Leo didn't get the bat and Ohtani continued with his pregame routine.
Surprisingly, the story didn't end there:
Four minutes later, as Leo is about to head with his dad to their seats, Shohei Ohtani walks back across the field, leans over the rope and hands Leo a bat. Imprinted on the barrel, in kanji, is Ohtani's name.- Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 12, 2018
"Hopefully he can swing with that and become a good player one day," Ohtani told MLB.com's Maria Guardado through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. "But I can't be doing this all the time. I'll run out of bats."
In the seventh inning, Ohtani used a different bat to clear the bases with a three-run triple and give the Angels a 6-0 lead. It was the first triple of his MLB career:
If we're getting this right, Ohtani is not only a great hitter and a great pitcher, but it looks like he's also great with the fans. Is there anything he can't do?