Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani reveals he is married

TOKYO — Baseball star Shohei Ohtani has stunningly revealed he’s married.

Ohtani wrote on Thursday on Instagram in Japanese: “The season is approaching but I would like to announce to everyone that I have gotten married.”

He said his new wife was a “Japanese woman” without identifying her. He said he would reveal more in an interview; presumably at the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training venue.

The 29-year-old Ohtani is Japan’s biggest celebrity, and there has always been curiosity around his personal life, which he has always kept very private. His focus, and his image, has always been 100%-baseball focused — free of scandals or tabloid news.

Ohtani moved from the Los Angeles Angels to the Dodgers in December on a record-breaking contract worth $700 million over 10 years.

“I began a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers, but I also have started a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me,” he wrote.

He asked the media refrain from “conducting unauthorized interviews.”

The post on Instagram included a photo of his dog “Dekopin,” which is also called “Decoy.”

He wrote: “We hope the two of us — and one animal — will work together.”

The news broke in the middle of the night in North America, and late afternoon in Japan where it was immediately the top news item on local television.

Local television reports daily on his training in the United States and, because of his unprecedented success in North America, he has become the pride of Japan, and the Dodgers have become Japan’s de facto team.

Ohtani is training in Arizona for the Major League Baseball season, preparing for the Dodgers to open in Seoul, South Korea, on March 20-21 in a two-game series against the San Diego Padres.

Ohtani just underwent surgery on his right elbow and will not pitch this season. He will be used as a designated hitter, and the possibility exists he could play in the field.

In his spring training debut this week, he hit a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox.

Ohtani has hit 171 home runs — 44 last season — and has a career batting average of .274. His record as a pitcher is 38-19 in five seasons. He missed the 2019 season due to elbow surgery and has a career ERA of 3.01.

He was the American League rookie of the year in 2018, and the American League MVP in 2021 and 2023, and has often been compared to Babe Ruth for his skill as a two-way player.

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