‘Japanese Babe Ruth’ made baseball history last night
The same night the Toronto Raptors won Canada’s first NBA championship, baseball phenom Shohei Ohtani made history of his own.
The Los Angeles Angels’ designated hitter batted a single, double, triple and home run all in the same game—what’s known in the sport as a “cycle”—and became the first Japanese-born major leaguer to do it.
Ohtani, 24, started backwards with a home run in the first inning, then a double in the third and a triple in the fifth in the away game versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
He clinched it in the top of the seventh inning with a single to right-center field. The Angels won the game 5-3, thanks in no small part to their DH.
It was a thrilling moment in a stale season for the Angels, currently second from the bottom of the American League West standings with 34 wins and 35 losses.
Since his 2018 debut, Ohtani’s been hailed as the “Japanese Babe Ruth” for his winning starts as both a pitcher and designated hitter, a rarity in Major League Baseball. But after an elbow injury and the Tommy John surgery that followed delayed his pitching start to 2020, he’s stuck strictly to batting—and consistently delivers.
Centerfielder Mike Trout was the last Angel to hit for the cycle back in 2013, the team said.