Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani Creates Memorable Night for Young Fan

Fame and glory are blinding to some, but Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani used his star power to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a young fan Thursday.

The Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds was also Ohtani’s first Dodger bobblehead night, reeling in a sold-out crowd of 53,527 fans – including 13-year-old San Bernardino resident Albert Lee. Albert is a pediatric patient at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital and has endured three open-heart surgeries before completing middle school. 

The Little Leaguer was unexpectedly granted the opportunity to meet his baseball idol, Ohtani. With his jaw on the floor, Lee was left speechless when Ohtani walked through the door.

“I’ve never seen him this quiet before,” a family member of Albert’s shouted. 

Ohtani gifted Albert an autographed jersey, his bobblehead, and private suite tickets to the game against the Cincinnati Reds. But that was not all. Albert was going to throw the first ceremonial pitch of the night. 

“If I was a child, I would be very happy as well,” Ohtani told reporters after the game, including Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain. “It’s something that I kind of wanted to return.”

After Ohtani left the room, Albert was finally able to speak. 

“What the heck just happened?” said the young fan in disbelief. “I couldn’t even breathe for like 30 seconds.”

The Dodgers fell to the Reds 7-2, highlighted by Elly De La Cruz’s career-high four stolen bases to score three runs for Cincinnati.

But the night was bigger than baseball. 

“Ideally, we wanted to win today’s game,” Ohtani said through interpreter Will Ireton. “But I hope the person who threw out the ceremonial pitch enjoyed the game.”

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Sam Garcia

Samantha is a third-year transfer student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Professional Writing.

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