Model student Otani blatantly broke the team’s internal rules… I’m worried about my colleagues who will glare at me

Model student Otani blatantly broke the team’s internal rules… I’m worried about my colleagues who will glare at me

Shohei Otani (29), famous as a ‘model student’, did not follow the internal rules set by the team even after knowing about them. It was a deviation he volunteered to do because he was worried about his teammates. This is about the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held last March.

Japanese media outlet Sports Nippon (Sponichi) published a local interview with St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Las Nubba (26) on the 9th. Episodes related to the WBC were mentioned several times, and those about Otani in particular stand out.

One of them is an incident that occurred early on in joining the team. It is an unwritten rule that most Japanese professional baseball teams wear formal attire when traveling as a group. This was also natural for Samurai Japan, the WBC national team (Korea’s Lee Kang-cheol also wore a suit as part of the team uniform). They were provided with uniforms, including a blue and black two-tone singlet made by clothing company U, a white dress shirt, and a tie.

However, it seems that Numba’s suit, which joined from the United States, was delivered late. It didn’t arrive until the first moving day. I had no choice but to go to the Shinkansen station in civilian clothes. Otani heard about this situation. Then, he said, “Then I won’t wear a suit either,” and changed into casual clothes.

All eyes were on Numba as he was the only foreign player. If you happen to be the only one wearing different clothes, especially casual clothes rather than a suit, you are sure to receive harsh glares. It was because he was concerned about such things. In the end, among the national team gathered at the station, these two were the only ones not wearing formal uniforms. This is very unusual for Otani, who is known as a man of upright living.

Of course, according to Numba’s interview, there was nothing ‘condescending or over-the-top’. “Nothing was said (about clothes). It was just natural behavior. ‘Hey, you’re not the only one who doesn’t wear a suit. There’s no need to worry about it. I felt like he was saying, ‘You are part of our team, you are a colleague.’ So I was even more grateful and moved.”레고토토

Numba, who has a Japanese mother, continues to receive praise.

“When I first went there, there were only people I didn’t know. Everyone treated me kindly, but it still wasn’t easy. At times like that, Shohei always helped her so that she wouldn’t feel awkward alone. He approached me first, talked to me, and introduced me to the players. Think about it. He is the best baseball player on the planet that is difficult to approach. I can’t believe he even gave such consideration. This is unbelievable. “He is truly the nicest guy.”

If Otani is like this, other players will follow suit.

“Thanks to you, I became closer to the players. When he is in the locker room, in his dormitory, or eating, he says one word at a time. Friends like Ippei (Mizuhara, Otani’s interpreter), Dar-san (Darvish), Loki (Sasaki), and Yoshinobu (Yamamoto) became friends quickly. During break time, Shohei always brings up a cell phone game. He probably did it because he was afraid he would be bored alone. “He never loses, and he gets a little angry because he’s the only one who wins every day (laughs).”

After that, it was the competition period. The Japanese national team performed a ‘pepper grinder’ ceremony. As you know, the country of origin is the Cardinals. The intention was to imitate Numba and revive his energy (at least that’s how he felt). And this ceremony gained sensational popularity. It got to the point where I couldn’t sell it in Japan because there was no pepper grinder.

After reaching the top, Otani gave Numba a gift. It was a high-end wristwatch from the company S, for which he was an advertising model. The best product is known to be worth 50 million won. “Let’s be together at the next WBC. It was with a joke, “If not, you have to return it.”

Numba repeatedly talks about Otani’s humanity throughout this interview.

“I had the opportunity to have dinner with the players a few times during the tournament. Every time, I felt that I was very welcome. It was clear that Shohei was trying to create such an atmosphere. He is the best player on the field. Everyone knows that. But that’s not all. Through WBC, I was able to feel what and how he does for his team and teammates. In addition to being an outstanding player, he is also very respectable as a person. That’s the truly unforgettable part.”

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