Shohei Ohtani has already done the unthinkable, he has revived interest in the sport. Now, the Angels’ all-around superstar is focusing on America’s indifference toward its own pastime and working to restore the game’s glory in the United States.
In a recent interview with GQ, Ohtani remarked, “Baseball was founded here, and I personally want baseball to be the most popular sport in the United States.” Given the current state of the game, that may appear improbable, if not outright impossible.
But Ohtani is no stranger to doing the apparently impossible. He was the first player in MLB history to be named a starting pitcher and leadoff batter in an All-Star Game in the 2021 season. “ShoTime” will be one of the main reasons for the game’s popularity if it grows.
He hit 46 home runs, scored 100 runs, and drove in 103 runs in the 2021 season. Oh, and for good measure, he also pitched in 23 games, registering a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts. Ohtani was named AL MVP as a result of his performance. “If I can help in any way, I’m more than willing to do so,” Ohtani told GQ. “However, as compared to soccer and basketball, baseball has a much lower world population because only a few nations are really fond of the sport.
However, in those nations where it is large, it is enormous.” Ohtani’s role in MLB is also “unbelievably significant.” He’s gone from an unknown Japanese talent to the focus of things in Major League Baseball. That appears to be something the 27-year-old enjoys. Ohtani told GQ, “Hearing ‘the face of baseball,’ that’s really welcoming to me.” “It motivates me to keep on going and have more fantastic years.” Ohtani is correct. Baseball was once “unbelievably popular” in the United States.