Shohei Ohtani named AP Male Athlete of the Year for 2023

Shohei Ohtani has once again solidified his status among the elite athletes as he was named The Associated Press’ Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday. This is the second time Ohtani has received this honor, putting him in a rare group of 11 male athletes who have achieved this accolade multiple times, including sports legends such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Dodgers icon Sandy Koufax.

Ohtani secured 20 out of a potential 87 votes from a panel of sports media professionals, edging out soccer star Lionel Messi and tennis great Novak Djokovic who each received 16 votes. NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic followed closely behind with 12 votes. Ohtani’s incredible achievements on the baseball field, both as a hitter and a pitcher, undoubtedly played a significant role in earning him this prestigious title.

During the 2023 season with the Angels, Ohtani dominated both at the plate and on the mound. He led the American League with 44 home runs, 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases, and a 1.066 OPS. As a pitcher, he maintained an impressive .184 batting average against, striking out 167 batters and recording a 3.14 ERA in 132 innings. Unfortunately, Ohtani’s season was cut short due to a right elbow injury, ultimately requiring surgery in September. As a result, he will be unable to pitch until 2025.

Before he made his mark on MLB once again, Ohtani played a pivotal role in securing a gold medal for Team Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Notably, he faced off against his teammate and Team USA captain, Mike Trout, in a memorable showdown during the tournament.

This recognition as the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year solidifies Ohtani’s place among some of the most outstanding athletes across a variety of sports. He joins a select group of MLB players who have received this honor in recent years, including Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, and Madison Bumgarner.

Overall, Ohtani’s incredible talent and versatility have cemented his status as a true powerhouse in the world of sports. His impact both on and off the field continues to captivate fans worldwide, making him a truly deserving recipient of this prestigious accolade. As he continues to elevate the game of baseball with his exceptional skills, Ohtani’s legacy is sure to leave a lasting impression on the sport for years to come.


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