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The Japan News/Yomiuri
The Japan News/Yomiuri
Kazuari Hirayama / Yomiuri Shimbun Sportswriter

Ohtani donates WBC cap to U.S. Hall of Fame

MIAMI -- Shohei Ohtani has donated the cap he wore in the final of the World Baseball Classic to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the museum said Wednesday.

Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Ohtani pitched the ninth inning in the championship game. He threw the cap into the air after striking out the final U.S. batter to clinch the victory and was then mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.

Other items donated to the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. were a bat used by Masataka Yoshida during Samurai Japan's run to the title, and batting gloves and a helmet worn by Tokyo Yakult Swallows slugger Munetaka Murakami.

Yoshida, who plays for the Boston Red Sox, chalked up a tournament-high 13 RBIs, and Murakami belted a home run in the final.

A record high of more than 1.3 million people attended the 2023 WBC games, an increase of about 20% from the previous tournament, according to Major League Baseball. Ohtani's official Instagram account gained about 2.1 million new followers during the tournament, making him the first major league player to top 4 million followers.

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