“Not Sure I Even Deserve It” – Shohei Ohtani Expresses Doubt After Winning Rare Award for MLB 2021 Season

Published 10/27/2021, 8:45 AM EDT
DENVER, COLORADO – JULY 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts in the first inning during the 91st MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field on July 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)


Although the Los Angeles Angels didn’t make the MLB playoffs this year, Shohei Ohtani remains in the spotlight. Before Game 1 of this year’s World Series, the 27-year-old received the rare Commissioner’s Achievement Award for his stellar 2021 season.

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The Japanese star received the award from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a press conference, where he let his humble personality shine through.

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Shohei Ohtani becomes the 16th recipient of the Commissioner’s Achievement Award

Since joining the Angels in 2018, Ohtani shot to fame as an impressive two-way player. While injuries held him back in previous seasons, the 27-year-old produced a 2021 season which one could only dream of.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 29: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2021 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Along with incredible performances at bats, Ohtani also produced unprecedented pitching statistics. Although the injury-ravaged Angels couldn’t make the playoffs, the Japanese star displayed his talent with unbelievable consistency.

Commissioner Manfred honored Ohtani‘s incredible season with the Commissioner’s Achievement Award, making him the first player to receive it since Manfred succeeded Bud Selig in 2015. In addition, he became the first player to receive the award in seven years.

The last winners of this award were Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, and long-time broadcaster Vin Scully. They received the award in 2014. During a press conference ahead of Game 1 of the World Series, Ohtani spoke about the importance of the award. However, he cast a rare moment of doubt on whether his achievements warranted this honor.

He said“This award is not given out every year so it’s very special. I’m not sure I even deserve it. But if Mr. Manfred is going to give it to me I will gladly accept.” 

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Ohtani currently leads the AL MVP race

The 27-year-old is a clear favorite to clinch the award, which will be presented in November. Although the field comprises stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien, Ohtani’s stats and overall performances give him an unmatchable edge.

OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the bottom of the first inning of his Major League pitching debut against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

While he produced individual brilliance in 2021, he will look to lead the Angels to the postseason in 2022. Whether the team can fulfill those ambitions, only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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