Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on July 13 became the first player in the 88-year history of the All-Star Game to start as both a hitter and pitcher.
Ohtani, who was listed in the lineup as a designated hitter, batted leadoff for the American League and then took the mound as the starting pitcher in the game at Coors Field in Denver, adding yet another first in his young MLB career.
He grounded out in his first at-bat, then took the mound for the bottom half and set the National League down in order, retiring the three batters he faced on a flyout and two groundouts. He grounded out again on his second plate visit.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the 27-year-old also took part in the Home Run Derby as the first Japanese to compete in the event held the night before Major League Baseball’s annual Midsummer Classic.
The Angels designated hitter and pitcher, who leads the majors with 33 home runs this season and is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts, is one of 40 players who are making their first All-Star Game appearance.
Ohtani is the first Japanese-born player to start the All-Star Game since Ichiro Suzuki in 2010. He is also the second Japanese pitcher to start an All-Star Game after Hideo Nomo in 1995. (Kyodo)