Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has taken the MLB world by storm during the 2021 season. As of July 22, he still leads all of baseball in home runs and is fourth in RBI’s while sporting a 3.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 73.0 innings pitched.
What he’s doing this season can only be described as one of the greatest individual years by a player in MLB history. This — as well as a massive Japanese following — has made him an international star and one of baseball’s most marketable players. That was made clear at the All-Star break, when Ohtani’s appearances in the Home Run Derby and the Midsummer Classic became must-see TV.
Major League Baseball runs an auctioning website that sells various memorabilia and donates to different charities across the world, and recently, they made two Ohtani jerseys available. One was a signed Ohtani Angels jersey, and the other was a signed All-Star jersey.
The two items received the two largest bids in the history of the MLB auction program — founded in 2001 — and sold for over a combined $250,000, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
The winning bid: $130,210.
These two Ohtani jerseys generated the highest bids ever for jerseys auctioned by MLB.
(The league's in-house auction program started in 2001.) https://t.co/qdJuttsYs1
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 22, 2021
Ohtani’s Angels jersey sold for $121,800. At the close of this auction, that was the highest singular bid ever placed on an item that was being sold by MLB themselves. Well, that record didn’t last long, as shortly after, Ohtani’s All-Star jersey surpassed it.
The next day, the Ohtani All-Star jersey sold for $130,210, setting the new record for highest bid of all time for MLB auctions. Ohtani’s two jerseys netted the Angels’ charitable foundation $252,010.
If there was any more proof needed that Ohtani is this year’s face of baseball, look no further than these auctions.
Ohtani deals in Oakland
The Angels ultimately lost this pivotal game to their division rivals, the Oakland Athletics. However, that didn’t stop Ohtani from putting together one of his best starts of the season. The Angels star pitched six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the process while striking out eight.
The Angels, sadly, are now 7.5 games back of the Wild Card spot after back-to-back losses at the Oakland Coliseum.