Shohei Ohtani: Baseball superstar announces marriage to Japanese woman

The Los Angles Dodgers stars has closely guarded his private life
Image caption,The Los Angeles Dodgers star has closely guarded his private life

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani, one of Japan’s most eligible bachelors, has announced that he is married, stirring a frenzy on social media.

The Los Angeles Dodgers star’s announcement came as a shock as he has closely guarded his private life.

“I wanted everyone to know I am now married,” the 29-year-old said on Thursday in an Instagram post.

Ohtani described his Japanese bride as someone “who is very special to me” but did not disclose her identity.

“Two people (plus one dog), we’ll grow together,” he told his seven million Instagram followers, adding that he would hold a press conference on Friday.

Last year, Ohtani made history when he signed a record-breaking 10-year, $700m (£552m) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers – making him one of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

Unlike most players who specialise in batting or pitching, Ohtani is equally skilled at both disciplines, drawing comparisons with American baseball legend Babe Ruth.

He has been given the nickname “Shotime” and has been described as among the world’s best players.

On social media, congratulatory messages poured in after Ohtani made the announcement in his post on Instagram, which got one million likes in less than an hour.

But quite a few were also heartbroken that the Japanese nation’s sweetheart was no longer available.

“Shohei Ohtani is married. This is the worst day of my life,” one post read.

“I am so happy for him and congrats to him and his wife. I love that he was able to announce it on his own and on his own terms,” another post read.

Ohtani, who is in the US for training, also received well wishes from his team.

“When you have a baseball game and a wedding to get to on the same day. Congratulations to Shohei Ohtani on his new marriage,” the LA Dodgers said in a post on X, accompanied by a video of him in action during a game.

Ohtani left fans guessing over who his bride could be.

“Isn’t it amazing that this woman was able to get in his strict schedule and successfully got married?” one social media user wrote.

Baseball is hugely popular in Japan and Ohtani is part of a long line of Japanese players to see action in the American league.

Shortly after his announcement, Ohtani occupied the entire top five topics on X’s Japan trending topics.

One thing his wife will have to navigate is Ohtani’s need for large amounts of high quality sleep – this is said to be a key factor underpinning his success.

“Sleep is my top priority,” says the star, who has special custom-made pillows, and fits in naps on planes and buses and in changing rooms before and after games, Kyodo News reports.

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