Shohei Ohtani Day to be annual event for rest of Dodgers career

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Shohei Ohtani Day to be annual event for rest of Dodgers career THE ASSOCIATED PRESSMay

Shohei Ohtani Day to be annual event for rest of Dodgers career

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 18, 2024 at 09:00 JST

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Photo/IllutrationLos Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts arrives for a ceremony honoring baseball star Shohei Ohtani on May 17. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • Photo/Illutration

LOS ANGELES--It’s Shohei Ohtani Day in Los Angeles.

The Japanese two-way superstar was honored at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday and presented with a city council resolution that declared May 17 as Shohei Ohtani Day for the duration of his Dodgers career.

Ohtani signed a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the team in December, after spending six years in Anaheim with the Angels.

The council recognized Ohtani for his athletic achievements, with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and members of the team’s front office in attendance.

“Thank you very much to the L.A. City Council,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I appreciate you recognizing me on this day. I want to thank the Dodger organization as well and all the fans.”

Ohtani became the all-time leader in home runs hit by a Japanese-born player in the major leagues on April 21. Nearly a month later, he passed Roberts in breaking the Dodgers record for homers hit by a Japanese player. Roberts is of Japanese and Black descent.

“Since becoming a member of the Dodger family in December, Shohei has been everything we’ve hoped for and more,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. "We are grateful for his accomplishments on the field, his warmth in the clubhouse and his character in all respects, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Ohtani’s brief time with the Dodgers has been eventful on and off the field.

The team’s first Ohtani bobblehead giveaway of the season on Thursday snarled traffic outside Dodger Stadium and created long lines of fans eager to get their hands on the souvenir. The item was soon offered for sale online at exorbitant prices.

His longtime interpreter was fired by the team in March after prosecutors say Ippei Mizuhara stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off sports gambling debts during a yearslong scheme. Mizuhara was in court earlier this week to enter a plea on bank and tax fraud charges.

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