Shohei Ohtani Sets the Record for Most Home Runs in MLB by Japanese-Born Player

Shohei Ohtani with the Angels in 2018
Shohei Ohtani with the Angels in 2018. Photo by Peter Joneleit/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9635290f)

Major League Baseball had more than a few great Japanese-born players over the years. However, Los Angeles Dodgers’ two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani once again showed that he is the best of the bunch.

During Sunday’s 10-0 win over the New York Mets, Ohtani hit his 176th career homer, marking the record for most home runs in MLB by a Japanese-born player. He eclipsed former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, who notched 175 homers during his 10 years in the league.

Ohtani previously tied Matsui on April 13th but needed seven more games before taking sole possession of the record.

“I’m relieved and happy,” Ohtani said through an interpreter about the feat. “I took a while to get this point since my last homer, so just honestly, happy, relieved.”

Ohtani spent the first six years of his MLB career with the Los Angeles Angels before signing with the Dodgers on a record 10-year, $700 million deal this offseason. Throughout the first 24 games of the 2024 campaign, Ohtani is batting career-high .368 and has five homers with 13 RBIs.

Unlike previous seasons, when he served as a designated hitter and pitcher, Ohtani is focusing only on batting this year. He underwent elbow surgery during the offseason and isn’t expected to return to mount until 2025.

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