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Shohei Ohtani Earns Congratulations From Special Ex-coach, as MVP Celebrations Overtake Two-Way Phenom’s Off-Season

Published 11/17/2023, 11:59 AM EST

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Shohei Ohtani has created history once again. On Thursday night, he defeated a tough competitor, Texas Rangers‘ Corey Seager, and claimed his career second American League Most Valuable Player award. The fight was challenging, but the win was unanimous. While his fans celebrate this success, Ohtani’s former manager, Hideki Kuriyama, joined the party by showering praise on the two-way star for his second MVP win.

The 2023 journey was tough for Shotime. While his team struggled through the season as usual, the two-way wonder was on a voyage of unprecedented journey of individual accomplishment. He proved his worth with his third All-Star selection and second Silver Slugger award this season. Ohtani even had one of the highest (162 feet) MLB home runs this season, leading the AL in long balls. Like the rest of us, Ohtani’s old manager was equally impressed.

Hideki Kuriyama’s Views on Shohei Ohtani’s Accomplishment

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Kuriyama managed Ohtani for five years (2013-2018) in the NPB, so his comments on the 29-year-old pitcher’s success are precious. Kuriyama has seen the Japanese player’s talent unfold brilliantly as a two-way star. On Friday, the Pacific League club released the statement of the former Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ skipper.

via Getty

To receive that award twice in a unanimous vote is, I think, proof that everyone recognizes what he’s done.” Again, Kuriyama continued, “He has achieved a magnificent feat, and it makes me very happy.”

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The former manager even stated that he expects more brilliant achievements from Ohtani. After witnessing the journey of the 21 Century Babe Ruth from his struggles to establish his fame as a two-way player Kuriyama has seen the boy from Iwate Prefecture turn into a global icon. “I think he is where he is because when he’s pursuing something, he never lets up.”

The phenom’s determination has resulted in numerous prestigious achievements and being grouped with MLB legends for reaching milestones. Summing up his praise, the 62-year-old said, “I am confident he will continue to evolve and show us even more than he already has.”

Not only the former skipper but even the player himself offered his views on the huge victory through his interpreter.

Shohei Ohtani is Proud of His Iconic MVP Win

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Having multiple MVP awards is nothing surprising. Several players before Ohtani have reached the milestone but what is ground-breaking is that Shotime did it unanimously, twice. While the entire MLB world celebrates this accomplishment, Ohtani shared his feelings through his interpreter.

Read More: Why Shohei Ohtani? 5 Defining Reasons for Baseball Unicorn’s Unanimous MVP Triumph

The Japanese pitcher revealed how he wasn’t able to win in 2022 but declared that Aaron Judge‘s incredible season deserved it. “So I wanted to come back stronger and try to win this year… My goal was to come out on top, and I guess all my hard work paid off.”

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The determination of the two-way phenom serves as an inspiration to young players aspiring to achieve greatness through passion.

Watch this Story: Young Shohei Ohtani’s Journey To Elite Hitting Proving His Little League Coach Wrong.

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Written by:

Antara Bhattacharyya

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One take at a time

Growing up in a family where sports was a topic of daily discussion, baseball drew my interest the most. I admired the post-retirement journey of Alex Rodriguez and the rise of Shohei Ohtani and Elly De La Cruz to stardom in the current baseball generation. Forever enamored by Bryce Harper and the way his career is progressing, I love covering most East Coast teams.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot