It’s been the season of “Sho-Time” in 2021, and now Major League Baseball is celebrating one of its brightest stars with a new 30-second video spot that debuted on Saturday.
It comes just as two-way Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani is about to finish off his amazing first half and head to Denver to participate in Monday night’s T-Mobile Home Run Derby and Tuesday’s 91st MLB All-Star Game.
The spot will air on ESPN during the Derby and on FOX during the Midsummer Classic, as well as on FOX, FS1 and TBS at other times. Additionally, it will be featured on MLB media outlets and across several digital and social media platforms.
The spot celebrates what makes Ohtani a unique superstar and captivating spectacle, one who became the first player in MLB history to make the All-Star team as both a pitcher and hitter. The 27-year-old is leading the Majors in home runs (many of them Statcast-straining moonshots) while also turning in a stellar performance as a starting pitcher, thanks in part to a devastating split-finger that ranks as one of the game’s most unhittable pitches. Oh, and don’t forget Ohtani’s elite speed, which he flashes frequently with daring baserunning maneuvers.
There certainly were no shortage of highlights to choose from, given everything Ohtani has accomplished so far this season. That list includes the following:
• The first Home Run Derby participant who has also started a game on the mound
• The first Japanese-born player to participate in the Derby
• The most home runs hit in a single season by a Japanese player in MLB history, a feat he accomplished in only his 81st game of the season as a hitter.
• Ohtani has hit more home runs and struck out more batters in the first half of the 2021 season than Babe Ruth did in the first halves of his two-way seasons of 1918 and '19 combined.
• The first pitcher to make multiple starts in a season while also leading MLB in home runs since Ruth for Boston in 1919
• The first player in MLB history to have 33 home runs and 12 stolen bases before the All-Star break
• The 10 most-watched games in Japan have all been Angels games.
• The Derby will be televised in Japan live on terrestrial (free TV) on NHK G for the first time in 25 years.
• Most-searched player on MLB Film Room powered by Google Cloud, both domestically and internationally, during the 2021 season.