Baseball: Ohtani receives prestigious award for historic 2-way season

© Kyodo News

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani received a special award for his two-way performance in 2021 from league Commissioner Rob Manfred before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday in Houston.

The award, called the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, is not handed out on an annual basis but granted at the commissioner's discretion to individuals and teams who made a historically significant impact on the game.

Ohtani traveled to Houston to accept the award in person.

The trophy, designed by Tiffany & Co., features a gold baseball mounted on a sterling silver base, according to

Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and retired Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully were the most recent recipients in 2014. Ohtani's Japanese compatriot Ichiro Suzuki was recognized in 2005 for his record-breaking hit total in 2004.

The 27-year-old Ohtani, who is the 16th recipient of the award, stayed healthy and put together a great season on both sides of the ball, drawing a lot of comparisons to the legendary Babe Ruth.

He hit .257, blasted 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs and stole 26 bases in 537 at-bats. The right-hander also made 23 pitching starts, going 9-2, posting a 3.18 ERA and striking out 156 batters over 130-1/3 innings.

Ohtani is expected to take home more hardware this fall. He is a finalist for the Silver Slugger Award at designated hitter, and his performance makes him an MVP front-runner despite the Angels finishing fourth in the American League West with a 77-85 record.