‘Superstar’ Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) arrived in Miami, USA, wearing a hat for the Czech national baseball team.
The Japanese baseball team defeated Italy 9-3 in the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the 16th (Korean time) and confirmed their advance to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive time. Four hours later, the team departed for Miami, where the semi-finals and finals were held on a private plane provided by the organizers.
When arriving at Miami International Airport, the final battleground, the hat Ohtani wore attracted attention. He was wearing the cap of the Czech national team, not Japan. The Czech flag is embroidered on the side of the cap.
Ohtani was deeply impressed by Czech Republic’s ‘romantic baseball’, which was tied to Group B of this tournament.
Most of the Czech wrestlers who made it to the WBC finals for the first time have a main job. Occupations range from ballpark janitors, association public relations staff, electricians, and firefighters. Although not a full-time player, the enthusiasm of the Czech players for baseball was great. In the game against Australia on the 13th, Czech coach Pavel Hadim (neurologist) took off his hat and bowed his head to pay respect to Martin Schneider, a firefighter pitcher who blocked 5 1/3 innings with 1 hit and 1 run. 토토사이트
William Escala of the Czech Republic lost 2-10 to Japan on the 11th, and even after being hit in the knee by opponent starter Roki Sasaki’s 162km/h fastball, he held his own and stepped on first base. Japanese fans generously applauded the fighting spirit and passion of the Czech players. Ohtani Shohei also posted pictures of Czech players on social media with the phrase ‘Respect’. Since then, Ohtani has presented autographed balls and bats to Czech players. “Regardless of their skill level, I felt that Czech players really like baseball. That’s something to respect. They’re great players,” Ohtani said.
The Czech Baseball Association responded immediately through the official Twitter account, saying, “Ohtani naturally arrived in the United States wearing a Czech hat. It is a great honor.”
Japan, which is trying to win the tournament for the third time, will compete with the winner of the quarterfinals between Puerto Rico and Mexico for a ticket to the final on the morning of the 21st.