With so many international stars, we can firmly say that MLB is a global league.
The Dominican Republic, Japan, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Cuba, South Korea, Colombia, and several other countries are well-represented in MLB.
The fact that there are so many foreign stars makes it more natural for one of them to be the face of MLB.
This has to be said because some people think a foreign player can’t be the true face of the league.
Stephen A Smith says Ohtani needs a translator so he can’t be the face of baseball when we’ve never even seen Mike Trout speak English in a commercial on TV pic.twitter.com/j2NU970lXo
— Gaffe (@bmx_1355) July 12, 2021
But they are wrong.
Shohei Ohtani has done enough in the last year to be considered the true face of MLB.
A Historically Great Player
The Japanese import had a historically great season in 2021, doing things that had never been done before.
Babe Ruth was famously a top pitcher in the 1910s, and perhaps the best slugger the game has seen after that.
But Ohtani was fantastic while performing both activities in the same season, both with large samples.
As a pitcher, which is supposed to be his best facet, he hurled 130.1 innings in 23 starts, posting an excellent 3.18 ERA.
He struck out a whopping 29.3 percent of the hitters he faced in the process, and made batters look silly with his splitter and triple-digits fastball.
In the batter’s box, Ohtani was a one-man wrecking crew.
He slashed .257/.372/.592 with 46 home runs, 103 runs, 100 RBI, and 26 stolen bases.
He has basically made baseball fun to watch again for those who lost interest.
Ohtani is now the reason why young kids are becoming familiar with baseball.
He is exciting, and he can break a record or do something really amazing at any minute.
He is often the reason why fans watch the game, its highlights, and consume baseball-related content.
He is, pretty clearly, the most consistently amazing player.
A Global Athlete
GQ recently published a really cool interview with Ohtani, along with other top athletes in what was marketed as their first “Global issue”.
He shared the spotlight with Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
Cool details about Ohtani’s everyday life, his hobbies, the road covered to get to this point, and baseball were revealed by the magazine.
The fact the Ohtani was chosen as the baseball player to appear on the issue alongside two other global sport stars says everything you need to know about who is the true face of baseball at the moment.
He doesn’t have to be fluent in English in order to be considered an ambassador of the game: excellence is the best language, in this particular case.
Love that Shohei Ohtani not being fluent in English did not prevent GQ from doing a 10 Essentials video
This is the future. You shouldn’t have to be fluent in English to be a global ambassador for a sport and connect with fans in America
— Joon 이준엽 (@joonlee) January 12, 2022
Ohtani is a unique athlete who is consistently excellent at what he does.
People are interested in knowing more about him.
He is a hero in Japan and admired all over the world: he reunites all the requisites to be marketed as the true face of the game.
Let’s hope he can stay healthy and maintain this performance level for a very long time.