Ohtani Wins Pro Sports Award

Ohtani wins pro sports award

Japanese two-way baseball player Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has been awarded the grand prize by the Japan Professional Sports Association for his notable performance in Major League Baseball.

At a ceremony in Tokyo on Thursday, Ohtani received this year's Japan Pro Sports Award.

Ohtani left a professional baseball league in Japan to play for the Los Angeles Angels this year.

He earned four wins as a pitcher and hit 22 home runs in his first season in the United States.

Ohtani is the first to match legend Babe Ruth's record set 99 years ago of winning at least four games as a pitcher and hitting in at least 10 homers.

In November, Ohtani was named the American League's Rookie of the Year. He is the fourth Japanese player to win the award.

At the ceremony, he said he enjoyed playing baseball over the past year thanks to support from the people around him. But he noted the many difficulties he went through, such as the times he had a bad playing patch or suffered injuries.

He vowed to try for the Japanese award again in coming years.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe handed a cup and a citation to Ohtani at the ceremony, and congratulated him.

He praised Ohtani for overcoming injuries on his way to winning the award.

Abe said he is proud of Ohtani and expects him to achieve even more in the future.

Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima received a special award for his team's victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a prestigious endurance race held in France.