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Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani Reveals What it Means to Tie Hideki Matsui With Most HR by Japanese Player

Los Angeles Dodgers superstar slugger Shohei Ohtani continues to etch his name in the history books. Friday night against the San Diego Padres was no different. In the first inning of the game, Ohtani was only one home run away from tying legendary Japanese player Hideki Matsui, until he wasn’t.

Ohtani hit a moon shot to center to cut the Dodger lead at the time and to tie Matsui for the most home runs by a Japanese-born player.

That home run was Ohatni’s 175th of his career.

After the game, he spoke to the media including Dodgers insider Christian Romo, and said what he meant to him to tie the Japanese legend.

“I’m happy, personally,” Ohtani said. “It’s an honor to be on the same stage as (Matsui), and obviously it’s a big deal in the Japanese baseball industry as well.”

Shohei Ohtani, via Dodgers Insider

Matsui is a legend in his home country where he was a nine-time All-Star in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, three-time Japan Series champion, three-time Central League MVP, Japan Series MVOP, and eight-time Best Nine Award, awarded to the best player at each position in both the Central and Pacific League.

Although Matsui was among the best players to come out of Japan at the time, there’s no doubt Ohtani has surpassed him on that front. The power, speed, athleticism, and two-way ability are bar none to any player the MLB has seen. There’s nothing he can’t do on the diamond and we’re fortunate to witness his greatness in Dodger blue.

It’s only a matter of time before he becomes the player with the most, and that could happen as early as Saturday. Ohtani is finding his groove, slashing .353/.392/.706 with a 1.098 OPS, four home runs, and nine RBIs in 68 at-bats and 16 games.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).

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