Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani keeps on winning. He might need to get a more significant trophy case because the awards keep coming in. Ohtani has been named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.
Ohtani beat soccer star Lionel Messi and tennis great Novak Djokovic for the honor. He received 20 of 87 votes, while Messi and Djokovic got 16 votes. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets got 12 votes. This is the second time that Ohtani has won the AP award, as he won it in 2021. Two-time award winners include Don Budge, Byron Nelson, Carl Lewis, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, and Sandy Koufax. Four-time winners include Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, and LeBron James.
The Dodgers star is just the fourth MLB player named AP Male Athlete of the Year in the last decade. He joins Aaron Judge(2022), Jose Altuve(2017), and Madison Bumgarner(2014) on the list of MLB players who have won in the last ten years.
This year, Ohtani helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic. He then led the American League with 44 home runs, 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases, and a 1.066 OPS. As a pitcher, he held hitters to an AL-best .184 batting average and ranked second in the league with 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings and third with a 3.14 ERA when he injured his pitching elbow.
Ohtani was also named the AL’s top player at the Players Choice Awards and won the Hank Aaron Award. He also got the biggest contract in American sports history when he signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers.
“I'm still in the pinch-me phase, to be honest," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Can't believe we're going to have the opportunity to have him wear a Dodger uniform. One of the most talented players ever to put on a baseball uniform is now a Dodger."
The Dodgers have made 11 consecutive playoff appearances. Expect that to become 12 next year with Ohtani on the team.
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)