Shohei Ohtani hit a homer in his first at-bat at Angel Stadium and got the silent treatment in the dugout
It didn't take Shohei Ohtani very long to get acquainted with his new home at Angel Stadium. Facing Cleveland's Josh Tomlin on Tuesday night in the bottom of the first inning, Ohtani deposited a pitch into the right-field seats for a three-run homer.
Not only was this the Japanese star's first Major League home run, but it came in his very first at-bat at the Angels' home park -- over the new and old right-field wall.
As you may recall, he also picked up his first Major league base hit in his first at-bat over the weekend in Oakland ... so he knows how to make an impression.
As is custom around MLB, his teammates treated him to another first upon his return to the dugout: the group silent treatment.
Shohei Ohtani's first at-bat at Angel Stadium.- MLB (@MLB) April 4, 2018
... before mobbing him and reveling in the blast as a team.
Welcome to the Sho(hei)!
Tuesday proved to be a great night for the young man who came down with the prized baseball, too:
The ball Ohtani hit for his first ML HR ended up in the hands of a 9-year-old boy. The boy and his father are to meet with Ohtani after the game. Pretty good day at the yard for the kid.- Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) April 4, 2018
The boy, Matthew Gutierrez, and his father, Rene, spoke a bit during the game about their exciting night:
Of course, Matthew didn't come up with the ball initially -- that was Chris Incorvaia, an Indians fan born and raised in Cleveland who was at the game on a business trip (or, as he later called it, a "fusiness trip" -- fun + business). Once he ended up with the homer, he knew he had to give it up.
"I just waited and the ball landed right here in front of us," Incorvaia told MLB.com's Avery Yang. "I saw [Matthew] instantly in his Angels gear and I saw him with the glove out -- he was trying to get the same ball I was -- and [I thought to myself] he's going to appreciate this ball much more than I am."
Though he didn't wind up with a piece of MLB history, Incorvaia doesn't regret anything.
"It was a little surreal seeing what was going on, seeing how excited everyone was and once everything settled I think the reality set in that it was his first homer and that the little boy had it," Incorvaia said. "it was a really profound experience."
And the Angels made sure he didn't leave the park empty-handed: The Gutierrezes told the team what Incorvaia had done, and he was invited down to the clubhouse to meet Ohtani after the game. Not bad for a game that looked like a dud, with Incorvaia's Indians down big: "We were actually ready to leave, we were getting out butts kicked, and we get the phone call from the Angels to come down, so we're in," he said.
"[It's] very exciting for baseball," his friend and fellow Indians fan Adam Dziak added. "And a guy hasn't done what he's done -- hitting and pitching. When's the last time that's been done? Big deal."
To be more specific, no one's done what Ohtani's done in almost a century -- when some guy named Babe Ruth was just starting out:
Before Ohtani, last player to win a game and hit a first-inning HR within the next 2 days was Babe Ruth on June 13-14, 1921.- Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 4, 2018
Paced by that Ohtani blast, as well as another first-inning homer from Mike Trout, the Angels won the game, 13-2.