Lucky Fan Catches Shohei Ohtani’s First Home Run: Plans to Get Autograph Tomorrow

Mr. Welsh, 37, caught Otani’s Dogun No. 1 and said, “I’m thinking of getting his autograph tomorrow.”

■Dodgers 9-6 W Sox (28th Japan time, Arizona)

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The person who caught Dodgers pitcher Shohei Ohtani’s memorable first home run as a player was Eric Welsh, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I caught the ball with my glove while watching the game from the left field lawn seats with my colleagues from his workplace. “It was great. I think I’ll get it autographed tomorrow,” he said matter-of-factly.

There is a reason why Mr. Welsh spoke so calmly. He was fully prepared, wearing a local Diamondbacks hat, black jersey, and gloves, but it was his first time watching a baseball game. “Actually, I don’t watch much baseball. This is my first time watching a spring training game. I play softball, but I’m not very good at it,” he said.

Still, I finally understood the gravity of the situation when a colleague wearing a Dodgers uniform told me, “It’s the first home run I hit for the Dodgers. You should never sell it,” and “It’s worth as much as Babe Ruth.” It seems so. “Then it’s priceless. I have no idea (the value of a home run ball).” He finally smiled.

The 37-year-old “Lucky Uncle” has been interviewed by many media outlets one after another. “I’m having fun. It’s a great atmosphere. I’ve never seen Ohtani before, and he’s a good player. He’s getting paid $700 million, so I think he’ll do well.” Otani must have captured that heart with one blow.

(Masaya Kotani)

2024-02-28 03:41:03
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