Shohei Ohtani Gifts Roberts a Toy Porsche after Tying Club Record for Most Homers by a Japanese-born Player

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gives a thumbs-up after the team’s 11-2 win in a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Washington.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dave Roberts recently joked that Shohei Ohtani should gift Roberts a Porsche when Ohtani breaks his Dodgers’ record for most home runs by a Japanese-born player.

Ohtani obliged, just maybe not in the way Roberts imagined.

Before Friday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers’ slugger gifted Roberts a purple toy model Porsche in his office. Roberts said the car is sitting on his desk.

Ohtani hit his seventh home run, and tied Roberts’ mark, with a home run at Toronto on April 26.

“He did buy me a car. I guess I didn’t specify what type of car,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game “So I can’t say he never gave me anything.”

Ohtani gifted Ashley Kelly, the wife of Joe Kelly, a Porsche for Kelly giving up No. 17 when Ohtani signed with the Dodgers last December. Kelly’s wife took to social media while Ohtani was weighing his free agency decision promising him that he could have the number and all the gear associated with it.

Roberts, born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, to a Japanese mother and American father, hit seven home runs for the Dodgers from 2002-04

Ohtani does have 178 career home runs in the majors. He surpassed Hideki Matsui for most by a Japanese-born player earlier this month. Matsui had 175 during a 10-year career.

AP Photo/Ashley Landis
Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani greets teammates before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2024.