Shohei Ohtani’s home run derby day previewed in MLB promotional video

Shohei Ohtani swings
Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is featured in a video ad by Major League Baseball promoting his inclusion in the Home Run Derby.
(Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

In advance of the most globally anticipated home run derby in major league history, the league Saturday unveiled an ad celebrating Angels star Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani, who leads the majors in home runs, is the first two-way all-star in MLB history. With his participation in Monday’s home run derby, the event will be broadcast on free television in Japan for the first time in at least 25 years, according to MLB. Ohtani is the first derby participant to start a major league game as a pitcher.

The 10 most-watched MLB games in Japan this season have been Angels games, the league said.


The 30-second spot plays on Ohtani’s “slash” job description of pitcher/hitter by adding a few more options next to a slash mark: all-star, derby slugger, phenom, global superstar, heartthrob and speedster.

Although Babe Ruth was an all-star, he never was a two-way all-star.

Ruth played in the first All-Star game, in 1933. That was 14 years after he last pitched regularly.

Celebrate Shohei Ohtani’s ascension into MLB superhero status

He did, however, make one pitching appearance in 1933, on the last day of the season. He was 38, and he would never again pitch in the majors.

He threw a complete game, giving up 12 hits and three walks. He struck out none. He batted third and hit a home run, as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-5.