Shohei Ohtani career home runs: Dodgers star breaks Hideki Matsui’s record for most HRs by Japanese-born player

Shohei Ohtani already has established himself as one of the greatest baseball players to come from Japan, but his latest accomplishment further cemented his status as a Japanese legend on the diamond. 

In the third inning of the Dodgers-Mets game on Sunday afternoon, Ohtani took New York starter Adrian Houser deep to open the scoring. The Los Angeles slugger ripped a 423-foot shot into the right field stands for his 176th career home run. 

While that number may not mean much on the all-time MLB home run list, Ohtani’s blast did put him into the history books for Japanese-born players, surpassing Hideki Matsui’s record for the most home runs by a Japanese baseball batter. 

Ohtani tied the former Yankee star’s mark on April 14 and needed a week in order to take sole possession of first place. 

The milestone comes during Ohtani’s first season in Los Angeles as a Dodger. Most of the headlines around the start of Ohtani’s Dodgers tenure have been about his interpreter Ippei Mizuahra and the gambling scandal surrounding him.

However, it appears as though the turmoil has not impacted the two-way sensation’s performance on the field. Ohtani is up to five home runs on the season, which puts him in a tie for second on the team. 

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Here are more details on Ohtani’s latest feat. 

Most home runs by Japanese MLB player

Ohtani made history on Sunday by surpassing Matsui for the record for most home runs by a Japanese MLB player, hitting No. 176 with his third-inning bomb off Houser. 

Rank Player Home Runs
No. 1 Shohei Ohtani 176
No. 2 Hideki Matsui 175
No. 3 Ichiro Suzuki 117
No. 4 Kenji Johjima 48
No. 5 Tadahito Iguchi 44

The Dodgers slugger is one of only three Japanese-born players to reach 100 career home runs, which he accomplished during the 2022 season. At this point, it would be silly to try to put a ceiling on how many Ohtani will finish with.

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Shohei Ohtani career home runs

Ohtani’s home run on Sunday was his fifth of the 2024 season. 

The designated hitter is well on his way to hitting 30-plus home runs, averaging a little less than one home run every five games. If he were to accomplish that feat, it would mark the fourth time in his career when he blasted at least 30 dingers. 

Season Home Runs
2018 22
2019 18
2020 7
2021 46
2022 34
2023 44
2024 5

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