Shohei Ohtani came to the Major Leagues as “The Babe Ruth of Japan,” and in his fourth season he amazed the baseball world with his historic performance, excelling as a pitcher and hitter.
Ohtani was the first player ever selected to the All-Star team as a pitcher and a hitter. He won the Major League Baseball Players’ Association’s Player of the Year Award. He was the unanimous winner of the American League MVP.
It was, by many measures, just what the title describes: the greatest baseball season ever played.
I have covered the Angels since 2013, so I had a front-row seat for all of Ohtani’s career with the Angels, from his eye-opening start in the majors in 2018 through the disappointments of 2019 and 2020 to his dramatic breakthrough in 2021.
I hope to take readers on the rollercoaster and explain not just what he did in 2021, but how he did it. (日本語で本を読むこともできます)
Along the way, we’ll also look back at Babe Ruth, some of the great two-way players in the Negro Leagues and we’ll look ahead to the future, and ask whether Ohtani can open the door for other two-way players in the Majors.