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Shohei Ohtani Hits 176th Career Home Run; Most Ever by Japanese-born MLB Player

 Conor Liguori  |    Apr 21st, 2024 8:46pm EDT

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two-run home run. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit his 176th career Major League Baseball home run on Sunday afternoon against the New York Mets. He passed Hideki Matsui for the most home runs hit by a Japanese-born player in MLB history.

Ohtani hit the two-run shot off Mets starting pitcher Adrian Houser in the bottom of the third, launching an 82 mph hanging slider into the right field bleachers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The home run traveled 423 feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph, and the Dodgers won the game 10-0.

The previous record holder, Matsui, hit 175 home runs in 10 MLB seasons from 2003-12 with the New York Yankees (2003-09), Los Angeles Angels (2010), Oakland Athletics (2011), and Tampa Bay Rays (2012). He was named the 2009 World Series MVP for the Yankees, going 8-for-13 with three home runs and eight RBI in the series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Like Matsui, Ohtani played in Nippon Professional Baseball before coming to the United States to play Major League Baseball. Matsui played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1993 to 2002, and Ohtani played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters from 2013 to 17. The Dodgers designated hitter smashed 48 home runs in five seasons in NPB.

“His presence, his ability as a player, he’s just a great player,” Matsui told MLB.com of Ohtani through an interpreter. “The numbers on my end are just not comparable… I’m sure many of the fans have their expectations as far as what he may do and what he may accomplish. As far as myself, my hope is just that he stays healthy.”

Ohtani, 29, hit 171 home runs in 701 games in his first six years in MLB with the Los Angeles Angels from 2018-23. He is one of the most feared hitters, standing 60 feet six inches from opposing pitchers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (13-11) will play their next game on Tuesday, April 23, at 6:45 p.m. EST against the Washington Nationals (10-11) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Most MLB Home Runs by Japanese-born Players (Teams)

  1. Shohei Ohtani – 176 (LAA, LAD)
  2. Hideki Matsui – 175 (NYY, LAA, OAK, TB)
  3. Ichiro Suzuki – 117 (SEA, NYY, MIA)
  4. Kenji Johjima – 48 (SEA)
  5. Tadahito Iguchi – 44 (CHW, PHI, SDP)
  6. Kosuke Fukudome – 42 (CHC, CLE, CHW)
  7. Seiya Suzuki – 37 (CHC)
  8. Nori Aoki – 33 (MIL, KCR, NYM, SFG, SEA, HOU, TOR)
  9. Kazuo Matsui – 32 (NYM, HOU, COL)
  10. Dave Roberts – 23 (LAD, CLE, SDP, SFG, BOS)