“When He Says “Respect,” He Means It” – Shohei Ohtani’s Gesture of Endearment for Opponent Team Has Fans Pouring in Their Love for Him

Published 03/18/2023, 1:29 PM EDT

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There’s a whimsical Japanese saying, a poetic phrase that captures the essence of love’s premonition – Koi No Yokan. It’s the stirring feeling that resonates within, a knowingness that love is inevitable. And much like a dreamer entranced by a soaring bird, Shohei Ohtani was bewitched by a soaring home run at first sight.

Fast forward a few years later, during the World Baseball Classic, the Czech team bore witness to the stunning excellence of the once-in-a-lifetime player. So much so that they snapped pictures and captured moments the first time they saw the two-way phenom right in front of them.

But as their reverence grew, so did their desire to earn his respect. And lo and behold, they succeeded! Sho has since taken up the mantle of displaying his appreciation and respect for the team in a manner both small and significant, a gesture of endearment that has fans from all around the world singing out his name. 


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Baseball fans are pouring in their love for Shohei Ohtani for his kind gesture

As Shohei Ohtani stepped back onto American soil for the World Baseball Classic semi-finals, there was something peculiar about his attire – he was sporting the Czech Republic’s baseball cap! The mere sight of it warmed hearts.

Fans are pouring in their love for the two-way sensation. Some people even said that Sho was carrying the Czech team to the semi-finals alongside Japan. 

Ohtani’s simple yet heartful gesture brought together fans from all corners of the globe. 

And if that wasn’t enough, this gesture just proved once again that when he says “respect,” he means it. This is in reference to his Instagram story featuring a picture of the Czech team on the WBC stage, alongside the caption, “respect.” – A beautiful monument to their outstanding performance against Japan. 

In the end, this is what baseball is all about, isn’t it? Something that transcends borders and languages! 

The game between the Czech Republic and Japan was a stunning one 


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The Czech team, a group of dreamers, was on the biggest stage of baseball, surely a surreal moment for them. The game began and for a fleeting moment; it seemed as though their dreams would come true as they managed to pull ahead of Japan in the first inning. But Japan, a group of behemoths, quickly regained their composure and found the rhythm of the game and in the end, they won.


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However, amidst the unbridled passion, a pure electrifying moment occurred. Czech pitcher Ondrej Satoria, an amateur with a burning love for the game, left everyone gaping by striking out the legendary Sho-time. It was a moment of blazing glory, one that no one expected. Satoria’s love for baseball shone through in that remarkable moment, earning him the never-ending respect and friendship of Ohtani.

WATCH THIS STORY: “Just Ridiculous”: Shohei Ohtani Drops Fans’ Jaws by Breaking a Personal Record During World Baseball Classic Quarterfinal Showdown



Garima Verma

294 articles

Garima is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. She has recently graduated as a Master's student in Media and Communications. She is an avid reader and an ardent cinema fan.

Edited By: Abhishek Kumar