On the 22nd (Korean time), the final match of the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ was held at Londi Post Stadium in Miami, Florida, USA. At the beginning of the ninth inning, when Japan was ahead of the United States, the home of baseball, by a score of 3-2, the spectators’ eyes turned to the mound at the scene that could only come out of a cartoon. Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels, 29), who played an active part as a hitter that day, took the mound as a finishing pitcher wearing a soiled uniform. Ohtani, who came out as designated hitter No. 3 in the final, went on base twice with 1 hit and 1 walk in 4 at-bats, and his uniform was stained due to sliding. The beginning of the last inning, which started with Ohtani, was uneasy. It was while giving up a walk to Jeff McNeil (New York Mets), who came out as the first batter. Ohtani took a breather by catching Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers), who appeared next, with a double stroke, and struck out teammate Mike Trout, the best hitter in the US Major League, to win the championship and MVP of the tournament.
There is a lot of interest in Ohtani, which스포츠토토 has emerged as the biggest hit of the WBC this year. He is 193cm tall and stands out with his appearance reminiscent of a romance cartoon character. Above all, the results he has achieved while simultaneously serving as pitcher and hitter are exceptional. Leading Japan to victory in all 7 matches of the ‘2023 WBC’, he had a batting average of 0.435 (10 hits in 23 bats), 1 home run, 8 RBIs, 9 runs, 10 walks in the batter category, and 2 wins and 1 in 3 games in the pitcher category. Recording an average save ERA of 1.86, etc., he even brought about the ‘Otani Syndrome’. This proves why he is called a ‘comic ripping man’ (a man who ripped out a comic book). Thanks to this, his unique life attitude and values are being re-examined once again.
“It’s not garbage. It’s about picking up luck that others threw away.”
Born in 1994, his family are all known sportsmen. In real life, his father and older brother played baseball, his mother played badminton, and his older sister played volleyball. Among them, Ohtani is said to have excelled in his academic performance during his high school days, with his average in all subjects reaching 85 points.
Ohtani was especially famous for his diligent attitude towards life. Even among baseball fans, he is known as ‘a baseball player who picks up trash on the ground’. Even during training, if you see trash that has fallen on the ground floor, you will be caught picking it up several times. Regarding this, Ohtani explained in a book he published in 2017, “It is picking up ‘luck’ that others have inadvertently discarded.”
At the time, Ohtani’s mention of luck became a hot topic. In particular, public attention was focused on the mandalat (framework for achieving goals), which was said to have been designed right after he entered high school. This table lists 9 detailed goals to be implemented with the final goal of ‘8 team draft 1st place’, and what needs to be practiced for this. What stood out among them was the item about luck. Ohtani wrote down goals such as saying hello for luck, picking up trash, cleaning, dealing with referees, and reading books. Success requires not only skill but also luck, and it is natural to think that luck just comes by chance, but it is a unique accident that thought that effort is necessary for luck.
This aspect was also seen in the WBC tournament. Even after reaching second base, Ohtani smiled brightly and talked with the player from the opposing country, signed an autograph for the pitcher who struck out him, and paid tribute by wearing a hat from the amateur Czech team. In an interview after winning the championship, when asked how he felt, he humbled himself by saying, “I hope that baseball will be loved more not only in Japan, but also in Asia, such as Korea, Taiwan, and China, and other countries around the world. That kind of mind was the driving force and we were able to win.” did make an appearance.
Park Chan-ho, KBS commentator, said, “Ever since Ohtani was a child, he thought that if he picked up toilet paper, cigarette butts, took off his hat, said hello on the playground, and tried to be a good person, he would have more luck. All from his parents. I heard that it was learned,” he said.
On the other side of Babe Ruth… “I am Shin Joon-seop of Slam Dunk”
His restrained lifestyle is also famous. The maximum amount of alcohol is one beer, and the usual bedtime is 9:00. He is already a top-notch baseball player, but he is still thorough with himself. In an interview with the Japanese media, Ohtani said that he picked Slam Dunk as the most read manga. In this interview, he mentioned, “I like the genius type Yoon Dae-hyeop the most because I think he is the most different from me, but the character most similar to me is Shin Jun-seop, a practice bug.” In Slam Dunk, there is a line about Shin Jun-seop saying, “I have never missed 500 shooting practice a day.”
Ohtani is called ‘Babe Ruth’ in America. It is said that he is reminiscent of Babe Ruth in his heyday in terms of his ‘two-tacking job’ and his skills. However, he shows a completely different appearance in the ‘mental’ aspect. Babe Ruth believed in his talent and was evaluated as having failed to take care of himself, such as excessive drinking. He was even ejected for knocking down a referee who made an unreasonable decision.
However, Ohtani is different. So far, there is no gossip at all. On the contrary, even when Ohtani makes an unfair decision, he tends to laugh dejectedly rather than protest against the referee. In a press interview after a game where the referee’s decision was unclear, Ohtani replied that rather than criticizing the referee, “I think the important thing is how quickly you can forget it when you are in a situation like that.”
Fans are enthusiastic about how Ohtani throws fastballs without wavering even in situations of great psychological pressure. He recorded an exit velocity of 191 km and a velocity of 164 km per hour in this WBC. The answers he wrote in the Mandala Mental section, such as △not having fun, △not making waves in the mind, △strong in a pinch, and △not being swept away by the atmosphere, are answers that are reminiscent of this record. In Mandarat, there are also parts that allow us to guess where Ohtani’s current ‘representative pitch’ came from, such as △slider pitch △curve with a late fall.
Ohtani “I gave birth to my first daughter at the age of 31 and retired at the age of 40”
According to his ‘life goals by age’, Ohtani gave birth to his first daughter at the age of 31 and set a new record for strikeouts at the age of 36. At thirty-seven, his son starts playing baseball, and at forty he retires. His last match was a ‘no hit no run’. From the age of forty-two, the American major league system is applied to Japan, and the juniors are trained in earnest.
In addition to his future career as a baseball player, his family plans, including the timing of the birth of his future son and daughter, are carefully included. △Joined a Major League Baseball (MLB) club (18 years old) △Major League promoted annual salary of 13 million dollars (22 years old) △Warrior after winning the World Series (25 years old) △WBC Japan representative, league MVP (MVP) 27 years old) △First son born (28 years old) △First daughter born (31 years old) △Eldest son started baseball (37 years old) △Grade decline, started considering retirement (39 years old) △Achieved a no-hitter in the last game (40 years old), etc. The timing is also specific. Although some times have changed, such as reaching the major leagues at the age of 24 four years late, he seems to be approaching the goal he set one by one.
Returning to the turning point in his life on the green ground, he also expressed his sincere heart for baseball. In an interview right after being selected as the ‘2023 WBC’ MVP, he said, “I’m really happy (to win) because I was dreaming of being the best in the world.” I hope it will be a step forward victory,” he said, conveying his thoughts on creating a global baseball boom.