Angels star player Shohei Ohtani has been named the starting pitcher for the American League in the 2021 All-Star Game while also batting lead-off. Adding to his already impressive All-Star weekend, Ohtani competed in the Home Run Derby just 24 hours before the All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Ohtani is the first player to earn All-Star recognition as both a pitcher and field player. Ohtani’s monumental status forced the MLB to change their rules in the All-Star game, as they altered the Designated Hitter rule specifically to suit Ohtani. He will now be the AL’s DH and hit at the top of the order while also pitching the first inning of the game for the American League.

Prior to the beginning of All-Star Weekend, Ohtani spoke with MLB.com. “It’s my first time so I just want to enjoy everything,” Ohtani said. “There’s also the Home Run Derby, so I’m looking forward to taking it all in and enjoying everything.”

Ohtani’s incredible season is highlighted by his league-leading 33 home runs, which is also a record for a Japanese-born player. Ohtani’s participation in the Home Run Derby made him the first Japanese player to participate. He came into the derby as the top seed, however, Pete Alonso of the New York Mets went on to win the event.

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