While Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani did not win the 2021 Home Run Derby, he did get a consolation prize for competing. Ohtani was eliminated in the first round of the event by Juan Soto, meaning instead of the $1 million he would have gotten from winning, he received $150,000.
That’s by no means a small amount of money for the average person, but Ohtani saw it as an opportunity to do some good in the Angels community.
Ohtani donated all $150,000 of his winnings to about 30 Angels staff members, including trainers, clubhouse workers, and media relations staffers. This is about $5,000 each, but Ohtani actually went into the Derby hoping to give more.
The Angels star reportedly decided he was going to do this no matter how much money he won. In the Home Run Derby, the six non-finalists get $150,000 for their efforts, the runner-up gets $500,000, and the winner gets the million.
For the second consecutive Derby, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso was the winner. He — with the help of his batting practice pitcher Dave Jauss — smoked the competition en route to his second event win. To date, Alonso has made more money at Home Run Derbies than he has with his actual Mets salary.
Commissioner Rob Manfred speechless by Ohtani
Over the All-Star break, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred got a chance to discuss what he’s seen from Ohtani thus far this season. He said that there’s nothing he could say about Ohtani that hasn’t already been said, and that he’s happy that Ohtani exceeded the already high expectations placed on him when he got to the league.