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Angels' Shohei Ohtani makes history with selection to Home Run Derby

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Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is, again, breaking the mold and making history.

Major League Baseball and the Angels announced Friday that Ohtani will compete in the 2021 Home Run Derby that will take place in Coors Field in Colorado during the league's All-Star Week.

Not only will Ohtani become the first Japanese-born player to compete in the Derby, he also becomes the first player in history to participate in the event while also having made a pitching start in his career.

While some managers have been hesitant about having their players participate in the event for fear that it could cause a slump after the All-Star break, Angels manager Joe Maddon expressed his support earlier in the week about Ohtani's potential participation in the Home Run Derby.

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (top) celebrates his home run with Justin Upton.
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (top) celebrates his home run with Justin Upton.

"I'm not as against that as others," Maddon said. "I just don't like it when it becomes never-ending. There's got to be a more finite way of doing it. It can be exhausting."

In 64 games this year, Ohtani is hitting .270 with 19 home runs and 47 RBI. On the mound, he is also 3-1 in 10 starts with a 2.70 ERA and 73 strikeouts. Ohtani becomes the seventh player in Angels franchise history, and first since Albert Pujols in 2015, to participate in the event.

The Home Run Derby is scheduled for July 12.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Angels' Shohei Ohtani's Home Run Derby selection groundbreaking