Every year, Time Magazine releases an era-defining list of the most influential people in the world at that moment. With 2021’s list being released on Wednesday morning, people from all walks of life flooded their website to see who the cultural leaders of the year are.
This year, Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani landed himself in the Icon section of the list. He is one of six athletes to make this year’s version of the 100 Most Influential People. The others are tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, gymnasts Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee, track and field star Allyson Felix, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady.
For each of the 100 people, a short piece was written describing the reach of their influence. This piece was written by someone who has been on the list before and is in the same industry. For Ohtani, it was former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez.
In his piece, he talked about the ways in which Ohtani has changed baseball and just how unique his 2021 season has been, via Time Magazine:
Shohei Ohtani is having an extraordinary season, one like we have never seen before. His skill on the mound, coupled with his dominance at the plate, is unparalleled throughout the major leagues.
He’s the modern-day Bambino—and yet even Babe Ruth wasn’t stealing 20-plus bases, hitting 40-plus homers and throwing 100 m.p.h. in the same season. Only Shohei can. If you were to Frankenstein every unique talent into one player, you’d get Shohei Ohtani. He has the power of Bryce Harper, the pitching of Max Scherzer and the speed of Trea Turner.
Not only is he incredible on the field, but off the field he’s a gentleman. His teammates have only good things to say about Shohei, and he is great with the media and fans too. You can tell he is a hard worker, from his improvement year to year and his vertical-jump increase to the career-year he’s put together in 2021.
Shohei has been a true joy to watch this year. I am a huge fan, and he is easily worth the price of admission. I can’t wait to see how he finishes the season.
Within the baseball world, Ohtani has been a non-stop conversation piece since April. However, his impact goes beyond just baseball, as he has an international reach. His numbers are obviously impressive, but his cultural impact is even greater.
With the 2021 season he has had, being on the Time’s 100 Most Influential People almost doesn’t feel like enough to truly describe what he has done.
Mike Trout nominated for Clemente Award
Ohtani is not the only Angels player being rewarded for his influence in the community. Mike Trout is the Angels nominee for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award. Each team gets one nominee and a winner is chosen via a blue ribbon panel that includes a fan vote.
The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes a player who makes a significant impact both on and off the field.