1) At Tempe during spring training it was obvious that Shohei was feeling the strain of his MLB debut. Observers, including myself, noticed that whenever there was a lull in the game, Shohei repeatedly tied and untied his shoelaces even though it wasn’t necessary. This “stress reduction” habit is still of feature of his game.
2) Ohtani has NO driver’s licence, but he does have a personal chef. Apparently, American food and the Big Mac diet has not won him over. His fans in Tempe regularly show up at the few Japanese restaurants in Tempe in hopes of meeting him.
3) One of his favourite teachers in high school asked his class to outline their future goals. Shohei predicted he would win the world series at 26, then promptly find a wife. He would have two sons and a daughter, then move back to Japan at age 41.
4) Talk about dedication to sport! Shohei’s love of baseball leaves no room for the dating scene. His teammates say he doesn’t socialize after a game and alcohol is out of the question.
5) Most fans don’t know that Shohei had huge input into picking his translator with the Angels. Ippei Mizahara was no stranger. Ippei had known Shohei in Japan as a translator for American players who were drafted to Shohei’s Japanese team the Fighters. Ippei has cult status now and has his own rookie cards.
6) When Shohei was in high school, his favourite subject was History. He was intrigued by the history of Shoguns in Japan and the nobility of the Samurai. He researched every document he could find on the subject. His classmates and teachers were in awe of his knowledge.