Shohei Ohtani: From High School Star to $700 Million Prodigy Despite Controversial Past

Shohei Ohtani denies ever participating in sports gambling

Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese baseball star, has made a name for himself in the sport despite being involved in a scandal related to allegations of theft against a former interpreter. Now 29, Ohtani began his baseball journey in Mizusawa, Japan, where he excelled in the sport during his high school years. In 2013, he started his professional career with Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters before making the switch to Major League Baseball in 2018 by joining the Los Angeles Angels.

In recent years, Ohtani has gained recognition for his versatile skills as both a pitcher and designated hitter. He signed a historic 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2022, marking one of the highest-paying contracts in professional sports history. During the 2021 season, Ohtani earned accolades as the American League’s Most Valuable Player after achieving unique feats such as hitting at least 45 home runs, stealing 25 bases, and hitting five triples in a single season. This success on the field has not only set records but also led to lucrative advertising deals for Ohtani. He currently has over a dozen partnerships worldwide and earns an estimated $35 million annually in endorsement earnings with companies like Boss (formerly Hugo Boss), Fanatics, and Seiko Watch.

Despite recent elbow surgery that has left him recovering from injury, Ohtani remains optimistic about his future on the field. He looks forward to returning to pitching once he is fully healed and plans to continue breaking records while leading his team towards victory.

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