Major League Baseball Japan today announced the light-up of Tokyo Tower, to celebrate Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani’s MVP season. Tokyo Tower will be illuminated in Los Angeles Angels colors with a congratulatory message to be displayed on the main deck at 17:17 (5:17PM in Tokyo on Friday) based on Ohtani’s jersey number “17.” The 2021 American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award recipient was chosen through voting by 30 member journalists of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Ohtani is the second Japanese player to receive the honor following Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. In addition to receiving the 2021 AL MVP Award, Ohtani, who became the 16th recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award in October, will be recognized by a new MLB video spot launching today and is being recognized for two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ TITLES.
The two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS TITLES officially read as follows:
(1) The first MLB player to achieve 100+ innings and record 100+ strikeouts as a pitcher, and 100+ RBIs, hits and runs as a batter in a single season is Shohei Ohtani (Japan), playing for the Los Angeles Angels (USA) during the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
(2) The first player to start the MLB All-Star Game as a pitcher and a designated hitter is Shohei Ohtani (Japan) at Coors Field in Colorado, USA, on 13 July 2021.
The Tokyo Tower light-up will also be live-streamed on MLB’s Japanese TikTok and Twitter accounts @MLBJapan. MLB is also releasing a new global spot celebrating Ohtani’s MVP announcement with four versions using graphics in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin. Here is the English version: Ohtani MVP Spot - English. Here is the Japanese version: Ohtani MVP Spot - Japanese.
The creative is the second released by MLB highlighting Ohtani’s record-breaking season with the first launched around the All-Star Game: Sho-Time. The content will air on MLB media outlets (MLB.com, MLB Network, MLB.TV, and MLB global Social Media accounts) as well as ESPN and across OTT platforms.
In celebrating MLB’s first ever collaboration with Tokyo Tower, consumer products featuring a collaboration design that incorporates the Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani, and Tokyo Tower will be released on MLB’s official Japanese online store (https://www.mlbshop.jp/) and Tokyo Tower’s official store.
Addressing Ohtani’s achievements and Tokyo Tower celebration, Sami Kawakami, Managing Director of Japan stated “We, as MLB Japan, are excited to have another Japanese player in Shohei Ohtani, receive the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, and the American League MVP, the first Japanese MVP recipient since Ichiro. Ohtani’s historic achievements will deliver hope not only to youth players and future MLB stars, but to people all around the world.”
Shin Maeda, President of TOKYO TOWER Co., Ltd stated “We are excited to celebrate Shohei Ohtani’s historic achievements and American League MVP Award through this special light-up of the TOKYO TOWER, with fans in Japan, and across the world.”
As a hitter, Ohtani posted 103 runs scored, 26 doubles, eight triples, 46 home runs, 100 RBI, 96 walks, 26 stolen bases and a .965 OPS. He became the only player in MLB history with 45+ homers, 25+ steals and five or more triples in a season. On the mound, the 27-year-old right-hander went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts (130.1 IP) in 23 starts, limiting opponents to a .207 average.