CHARACTER COUNTS

Shohei Ohtani donating 60,000 baseball gloves to Japanese elementary schools

Nov 10, 2023, 4:12 PM

ANAHEIM (AP) — Two-way star and coveted Major League Baseball free agent Shohei Ohtani is donating about 60,000 baseball gloves to Japanese elementary schools.

Ohtani, a free agent who has spent the past six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, announced Wednesday on Instagram that he’s donating the youth gloves to schools throughout Japan.

“I’m happy to announce that I will be donating approximately 60,000 youth gloves to every elementary school in Japan,” Ohtani said. “That comes out to around 20,000 elementary schools. I’m hoping the kids can spend their days happily with a lot of energy through baseball.”

The gloves Ohtani is donating are from New Balance, one of his corporate partners.

Ohtani is one of the most fascinating cases for baseball’s free agency system since it began in 1976.

The 29-year-old Ohtani is coming off a season in which he batted .304 with 44 homers and also went 10-5 on the mound with a 3.14 ERA. He had Tommy John surgery in September for the second time in six years.

Even if Ohtani can’t contribute much on the mound in 2024, he’s one of the game’s elite hitters.

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Shohei Ohtani donating 60,000 baseball gloves to Japanese elementary schools