A Moment to Remember: What Meeting Ohtani is like for a Reporter
Anna Laible | Editor
The moment I found out that I was covering the MLB Little League Classic game in Williamsport, my first thought was, “I could meet and interview Shohei Ohtani!” It wouldn’t be easy, but I was going to give it my best shot.
For those who are not too familiar with baseball, Shohei Ohtani is the ultimate MLB player - he can pitch, he can hit, and he can steal bases. Ohtani became the first player in Major League history to become a two-way All-Star, meaning that he was nominated as a top pitcher and position player in the entire American League (AL). He will likely win the AL MVP this season.
When I arrived in Williamsport, I picked up my credentials. I was ready to have some interviews. But, before I knew it, the rain was pouring down without any signs of stopping. I was worried the weather would affect my ultimate interviewing goal.
Within an hour, the rain stopped. I started with some pre-game press conferences, asking Mike Trout a few questions and Triston Mckenzie about what it is like pitching against Ohtani. I then made my way onto the field looking for an opportunity to talk with the game’s biggest superstar. While Ohtani was warming up, I was talking with the Angels First Base coach, Bruce Hines. He talked about how he was in awe of Ohtani every time he came up to bat, having coached in the MLB since 1991.
At the end of Ohtani’s warmup, Coach Hines talked with Ohtani about a potential interview. The two-way star walked off the field, before coming back on it with his translator. I was suddenly surrounded by 10-15 Japanese photographers and started to get nervous with all the media. But, I was grateful for such an incredible opportunity since Ohtani gives very few interviews. He is trying to be the next Babe Ruth, something many Little Leaguers hope to do in the future.
This day I will never forget - the moment when I was able to interview the top player in the world and a likely future Hall of Famer!
Anna Laible is a 16-year-old writer for Sports Illustrated Kids, and she is also the host of the Speak Up Sports Podcast. Here’s a link to her podcast: