Moments, there are certain moments within the realm of time that can define our collective understanding of the universe; certain once-in-a-lifetime moments that passes by, and if we miss them, we may never see them again, since the condition of these moments cannot be duplicated with exact accuracy. This is why enjoying the essence of the moment is so important, much like a rare comet, it may be a few generations before we see any close resemblance again.
This comet’s name is Shohei Ohtani; he has made an unforgettable impact on the game of baseball. Ohtani is both a pitcher and a hitter; he has a batting average of .279 while allowing a batting average as a pitcher of .195. This is something that hasn’t been done in more than 100 years going back to Babe Ruth.
Shohei Ohtani is truly a two-way player, in an interview before the 2021 home run Derby on ESPN Baseball Tonight, Ohtani talked about the delicate balance between being a pitcher and the hitter he discussed how doing both provides a balance for him and allows him to become a better player. He expands the discussion by stating that he didn’t think he would be as good as a player if he wasn’t allowed to do both. It takes a special type of talent, discipline, and dedication to carefully mold what essentially is two crafts within the same sport, and not allow one side to overtake the other.
I often wonder, what it would be like to go to a baseball game and watch Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, or Ted Williams. Some of my fellow Angels’ fans argue that Mike Trout is the best player in baseball of this generation, while I unequivocally agree; Shohei Ohtani is a different type of player. Ohtani is two players in one, his bat is just as valuable as he is on the pitching mound; a pitcher who leads all of Major League Baseball with 33 home runs. This is truly something to relish and enjoy.
It is important to enjoy these moments we as baseball fans are witnessing history, we will never know what it was like to watch the great players that I mention above play, however we do know what it’s like to watch Shohei Ohtani play. Rather than just simply dismissing him as an extraordinarily talented player it should not be lost on us as baseball fans how important his redefining impact is to the game we all love.
Years from now, when we are all grandparents and in some cases great-grandparents and we decide to watch a documentary of the defining moments in baseball history, when they get to the part about Shohei Ohtani we can say that we lived in that moment.