Ohtani wins 2nd AP Top Male Athlete honor in 3 years

December 21st, 2023

has put himself in elite, exclusive company once again.

The Dodgers’ $700 million man was selected as The Associated Press’ Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.

Ohtani was previously recognized as the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2021, so he is now in a group of 11 male athletes who have received the honor multiple times. That list contains some of the biggest names in sports history, including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax.

Ohtani received 20 of a possible 87 votes from a panel of sports media professionals for the honor. Soccer star Lionel Messi and tennis great Novak Djokovic got 16 apiece. NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic received 12 votes.

It’s just the latest award for Ohtani, who was the unanimous American League MVP for the second time in 2023 and was feted as the AL’s top player at the Players Choice Awards and with the Hank Aaron Award.

Ohtani paced the junior circuit with 44 homers, 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases and a 1.066 OPS in his final season with the Angels. On the mound, he held hitters to an AL-best .184 batting average. He struck out 167 batters and recorded a 3.14 ERA in 132 innings before being shut down with a right elbow injury that required surgery in September. The surgery will preclude Ohtani from pitching until 2025.

Before Ohtani took over MLB once again, he captured a gold medal with Team Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He capped the tournament with a memorable showdown against Team USA captain and Angels teammate Mike Trout.

Ohtani is the fourth MLB player within the past decade to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, joining the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (2022), the Astros’ Jose Altuve (2017) and former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (2014).