The new face of baseball: Shohei Ohtani accounted for 28 percent of All-Star Game merchandise sales

·2 min read

Move over, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Jacob deGrom. Baseball has a new face, and his name is Shohei Ohtani.

As if it wasn't clear at the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game, Ohtani was the main attraction for fans over the All-Star break. Viewers couldn't wait to see him pop massive home runs Monday and then throw 100 mph fastballs — and hit leadoff — Tuesday.

But in case you needed additional evidence Ohtani captivated fans, take a look at how much Ohtani merchandise sold at the event.

Ohtani merchandise accounted for 28 percent of all merchandise sales.

Ohtani didn't disappoint at either event. After a slow start in the Home Run Derby, he forced a triple-overtime against Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto. Though Ohtani lost, he still hit some moonshots and created one of the best head-to-head matchups of the evening. Ohtani failed to get a hit in his two at-bats at the All-Star Game, but he looked strong on the mound, throwing a perfect first inning while hitting 100 mph with his fastball and featuring some nasty offspeed pitches.

Who is the actual face of MLB?

It's probably foolish to focus too much on a singular face of baseball. There is so much young and elite talent around the game that you would do it a disservice to only focus on one player. Trout may be hurt and Betts may be having a down season, but deGrom is still the best pitcher on the planet. On top of that group, you still have All-Star Game MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto, Tim Anderson and many, many others.

At this point, however, you have to include Ohtani in that group. His performance this season — which resulted in All-Star nods as both a hitter and pitcher — is historic. Does that mean Ohtani needs to be the singular face of the game? No.

But he deserves to be in that group, and baseball fans clearly agree.

Shohei Ohtani is one of the faces of baseball.
Shohei Ohtani merchandise was on the move at the MLB All-Star Game. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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