Shohei Ohtani, the rare dual threat of the Los Angeles Angels and new AL MVP, was given a chance to receive a national People’s Honour Award, but he declined as he said that it was “too early.”
Ohtani won one of the top awards in U.S. Major League Baseball, as he was awarded by unanimous vote the Most Valuable Player award for the American League, becoming only the second Japanese player to do so after Ichiro Suzuki, who won it with the Seattle Mariners back in 2001.
Chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno attended a news conference where he talked about their approach to Ohtani: “We approached Ohtani’s side about giving him the People’s Honour Award, but he declined, saying it was still too early. The impression was that he wants to concentrate to attain still greater heights. We join with the people of Japan to pray for even more success for him in future seasons.”
Ichiro Suzuki also turned down this award, three times more precisely, which is given to sports figures who have done well in the past, Yuzuru Hanyu for example, a figure skater, who received this award after he won a second successive Olympic gold medal in 2018.
Ohtani, besides his professional baseball career, is also known in Japan for his earnest humbleness. For example, on Friday, the media reported that instead of celebrating his MVP win, he would spend the evening with his mother. A real family guy.