To cap off his spectacular season, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani received the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award on Tuesday night, making him only the 16th MLB player to earn the honor.
The 27-year-old phenom accepted the award before Game 1 of the World Series. It's given out at the MLB commissioner's discretion to those who have made "a major impact on the sport," and was first awarded to Mark McGwire and Bud Selig in 1998. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told Ohtani that over the next few years, "I know that there are going to be many, many awards and accolades that come your way. But I felt that 2021 was so special that it was important to recognize the historic achievement."
Ohtani had a stellar year with the Angels — he hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and as a pitcher had 156 strikeouts and 23 starts, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was also the first player to be selected to the MLB All-Star Game as the American League's pitcher and designated hitter.
Through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani said the award "is not given out every year, so I know how special it is. I'm not fully sure if I really deserve it, but since Mr. Manfred's going to give it to me, I'm going to accept it."