Shohei Ohtani Dons Dodger Blue in 1st Public Appearance Since Signing Megadeal

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shohei Ohtani, wearing his new uniform, poses with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts at a press conference Thursday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani donned Dodger blue for the first time as the Los Angeles Dodgers introduced their $700 million two-way superstar at a packed press conference at their home stadium on Thursday.

Ohtani said being able to join a team with such a winning tradition as the Dodgers swayed his decision to sign a 10-year, $700 million contract, believed to be the richest in pro sports history.

“I’m so happy to become a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a clear vision about winning and is a team with a rich history, and I’m also very excited,” said the 29-year-old Ohtani in a rare and highly anticipated public appearance

Ohtani put on a Dodger cap and uniform jersey with No. 17, the same number he wore during his six seasons with the neighboring Los Angeles Angels, who never made the playoffs during his time there.

The Dodgers have advanced to the postseason for 11 consecutive seasons, and won the National League West Division pennant in nine of the 10 past years.

Ohtani led the American League in home runs last season and was named the league MVP for a second time. He ended his season in early September due to a side injury before undergoing elbow surgery later that month that will keep him from pitching in 2024.