Shohei Ohtani has taken over baseball this season, putting forth the kind of performance as a hitter and a pitcher that we’ve never seen before en route to being the frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player award. He parlayed this into a cameo in the Home Run Derby, and while he did not advance past the first round, Ohtani took his winnings and gave them back to the people in the Los Angeles Angels organization who make his life easier.
According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Ohtani, who lost in a swing-off in the first round to Juan Soto, took the $150,000 he won and split it evenly among 30 members of the Angels’ support staff. This wasn’t only because he pocketed the lowest-possible amount: Fletcher reports this was his plan regardless of where he finished.
Ohtani apparently decided that he was going to use the money in this way no matter what the outcome was. The Derby winner received $1 million, while the runner-up received $500,000.
Ohtani entered the Derby as the No. 1 overall seed, but fell in a thrilling first-round matchup to Soto — the pair were tied at 22 home runs each after the first round, then 28 after the first tiebreaker round. Soto went on to go 3-for-3 in the tiebreaker swing-off, while Ohtani failed to go yard with his first swing of the round. Currently, Ohtani leads Major League Baseball with 33 home runs.