“Let’s not long for today” Ohtani’s speech at the WBC finals, in fact, got a lot of trout autographs

May 9, 2023 0 Comments

An interesting anecdote was revealed behind the touching speech of Los Angeles Angels Shohei Otani (29), who led the Japanese national team to victory at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). 

Head coach Hideki Kuriyama, who led the Japanese national team to the WBC championship, appeared on a Japanese TV program on the 8th and talked about various anecdotes related to the WBC championship. Among them, there was an episode about Ohtani’s final speech that moved baseball fans. 안전놀이터

Japan, which faced the United States in the final, was expected to face a difficult match. This is because Ohtani’s teammate and one of the best hitters in the major leagues, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis), Mookie Betts (Dodgers), and other superstars who won the MVP were lined up on the U.S. national team. 

Ohtani told his national teammates ahead of the final, “Let’s not admire (America) for today. Goldschmidt is at first base, Trout is in center field, and Betts is in the outfield. If you play baseball, they are players that everyone has heard of. You can’t get over them just by admiring them. Let’s throw away our admiration for them today as we came here to win. Let’s only think about winning,” he said, boosting the morale of the national team. 

As Ohtani said, Japan won 3-2 in the final after a fierce battle. Ohtani took the mound as the closer in the ninth inning and confronted Trout in the final at-bat. After a close match with 3 balls, 2 strikes and a full count, Ohtani struck out Trout on a swing, and the tournament ended with Japan’s dramatic victory. 

Coach Kuriyama, who introduced Ohtani as a relief pitcher in the final, said, “I was worried because I had to prepare the pitcher while playing as a batter. But when Ohtani checked the preparation for pitching, he said, ‘It’s okay. I will prepare everything,” he said, showing no concern at all.” 

Regarding Ohtani’s final speech, coach Kuriyama laughed and said, “Actually, I received about 3 dozen autographed balls from Trout before I said that.” I didn’t hear the speech, but thanks to that, the national team players were able to play on the ground with the same mindset (as the American players),” he said, emphasizing that Ohtani also played a great role as a leader. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *