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Shohei Ohtani Chosen as Hickok Belt’s Overall Winner for 2021

Members of the US-based National Sports Media Association voted for last year’s top athlete from among a pool of candidates who won the organization’s monthly award.

The accolades keep on coming for Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani, the unanimous selection for the 2021 American League MVP award, was named the Hickok Award’s overall winner for 2021, the National Sports Media Association announced on Monday, February 28.

The 2021 Hickok Award monthly winners were all finalists for the prestigious yearly honor.

Ohtani, MLB’s first regular two-way player since Babe Ruth more than 100 years ago, belted 46 home runs and drove in 100 runs in 2021. He scored 103 runs and stole 26 bases. He also smacked eight triples and 26 doubles as the Los Angeles Angels designated hitter. 

As a starting pitcher, he went 9-2 in 23 starts. He struck out 156 batters in 130⅓ innings.

The 27-year-old star’s unique skill set and on-field accomplishments grabbed Hickok Award voters’ attention.

Just ask Tony Liccione, organizer and spokesman for the Hickok Award. 

“This is the beginning of a very exciting career for Shohei Ohtani,” Liccione said. “His selection recognizes Ohtani as the ‘best of the best’ in professional sports for the 2021 year. Look for Shohei Ohtani to set more records this upcoming season.”

Following Ohtani, who was the June award winner, in descending order for total votes received for the 2021 yearly award were Joe Burrow (football), Patrick Mahomes (football), Phil Mickelson (golf), Emma Raducanu (tennis), Eddie Rosario (baseball), Naomi Osaka (tennis, February winner), Hideki Matsuyama (golf, April winner), Caeleb Dressel (swimming) and Athing Mu (track and field).

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven.

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