Shohei Ohtani Says Wife Is ‘Ordinary Japanese Woman’; Couple Met 3 Years Ago, Got Engaged Last Year (UPDATE 1)

Toshiaki Obitsu / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shohei Ohtani speaks about his marriage in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Baseball star Shohei Ohtani, making his first public comments following the surprise announcement on social media that he was married, referred to his wife as “an ordinary Japanese woman” in an interview on Thursday.

Ohtani, who announced his marriage via Instagram the previous day, provided some details while talking to the media at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz., saying, “I’ll talk about it today, and then I want to focus on baseball.”

Ohtani said he met his wife about three years ago and got engaged last year. On his reason for marrying her, he said, “There’s not one thing in particular that I can point to, but we have fun together and I think we’re on the same wavelength.”

He said his wife is with him in Arizona.

Ohtani and the Dodgers are currently preparing for their season-opening games against the San Diego Padres in South Korea on March 20-21. Asked if that had any influence on the timing of his announcement, Ohtani said, “Looking at it from a total perspective, it was best to do it before the season than during it.”

“I wanted to do it a little sooner, but I put it off until today,” he said, citing formalities over documentation of the marriage.