Wednesday November 29, 2023

Shohei Ohtani Tops MLB Jersey Sales List For First Time

  • Ohtani’s Angels jersey edged out Ronald Acuña Jr. for MLB’s top spot.
  • The 29-year-old is the first Japanese player to headline the list in MLB history.
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hits against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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He may not be wearing it for much longer, but Shohei Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels jersey proved to be extremely popular among fans in 2023.

According to sales data on Nike jerseys purchased on Major League Baseball’s online store since Opening Day, Ohtani topped MLB’s 20 most popular jerseys list for the first time in his career.

The 29-year-old is the first Japanese player to headline the list in MLB history. He previously cracked the top 10 in 2018 and 2021.

Ohtani’s Angels teammate Mike Trout checked in at No. 10, continuing his streak of appearing on the most popular jersey list every year since his rookie season in 2012.

The Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. led jersey sales at the midway point in the season — and just completed an unprecedented 40-home-run, 70-steal season — but ultimately finished runner-up.

Rounding out the top five were Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego Padres), and Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), who had the top-selling jersey in 2020.

A resurgent Cincinnati Reds team also managed to get two players on the list with Joey Votto (13th) and Elly De La Cruz (16th), who at 21 is the youngest player to appear in the rankings since Acuña (20) in 2018. It’s the first time that multiple Reds players have ever appeared in the top 20.

But Ohtani’s jersey could end up being outdated when he hits free agency this winter.

The two-way phenom could fetch an MLB-record contract exceeding $500 million, however, an elbow injury will prevent Ohtani from pitching for at least a whole season and has casted doubt on the value of his impending deal.

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