Watch: Shohei Ohtani Thanks Dodgers During 2023 AL MVP Award Speech At BBWAA Dinner

Shohei Ohtani is roughly two weeks from beginning his Los Angeles Dodgers career with the start of Spring Training, but the weekend needed him to put a final bow on the past.

Ohtani was among the players on hand in New York for the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner. He was presented with the 2023 American League MVP Award, which was won in unanimous fashion. Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to win unanimously win multiple MVP Awards.

Ohtani was accompanied by interpreter Ippei Mizuhara but delivered his acceptance speech in English. Ohtani’s message included thanking the Los Angeles Angels and also the Dodgers.

“I’m looking forward to this next phase in my career,” Ohtani added.

The 29-year-old hit .304/.412/.654 with 26 doubles, 44 home runs and 95 RBI while appearing in 135 games last season. Ohtani led the Majors in slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging (1.066), and ranked first among all AL players in homers and total bases (325).

Prior to being shut down from pitching because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, Ohtani was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His 31.5% strikeout rate ranked second among AL pitchers.

Shohei Ohtani posts with dog

After accepting his second career MVP Award, Ohtani posted a photo of himself with the hardware and dog, Decoy (“Dekopin”).

Ohtani’s dog became wildly popular during the 2023 AL MVP winner announcement and weeks after as the public yearned to learn the pet’s name.

Ohtani revealed it to be Decoy — or Dekopin in Japanese — during his introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium.

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