Baseball Has a New Superstar in Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 25, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani is having the season of his career. Last week the Los Angeles Angels pitcher hit his 40th home run of the season, setting a franchise record for the fastest player to reach the figure. Ohtani’s performance both on the mound and at the plate is drawing comparisons to another top pitcher with a big swing: baseball legend Babe Ruth. Amidst all the fanfare, though, Ohtani’s rising stardom is revealing long-standing biases in baseball and sports media after two commentators made ignorant and offensive remarks regarding his race and nationality. We’ll talk about the excitement surrounding Ohtani and his impact on baseball.


Joon Lee, staff writer, ESPN

J.P. Hoornstra, Major League Baseball reporter, Southern California News Group