Ohtani, who was once scolded by a rival… Kim Ha-seong starts a hard hit.

were once rivals. From his school days, he was evaluated as a future leader in Japanese baseball. However, his career on the professional stage was different. While one emerged as a world baseball icon, the other wandered around causing various problems.

Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels) and Shintaro Fujinami (29, Oakland Athletics), 안전놀이터who walked different paths after his professional debut, met in the major leagues. The two, friends and rivals of the same age born in 1994, competed as pitcher and batter in a face-to-face match held at the Oakland Coliseum in California, USA on the 2nd (Korean time).

Ohtani and Fujinami were called top-notch prospects in high school. All of them drew attention by throwing fast balls at 150 km/h. In 2012, he also played an active part in the World Youth Baseball Championship held in Seoul as a youth national team side by side.

However, the fates of the two began to diverge in the adult stage. Ohtani advanced to the major leagues in 2018 after showing promise with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). In 2021, he won the American League MVP in 2021 with his performance in the two-handed style, and led Japan to victory at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held last month, establishing himself as a world-class player.

On the other hand, Fujinami could not keep up with Ohtani’s growth. From 2013 to 2015, he continued to achieve 10 wins, but caused controversy due to various incidents. After holding a large-scale party in March 2020, when Corona 19 was serious, it was confirmed and criticized. In addition, after returning to the squad, he was subject to an indefinite 2-gun disciplinary action for being late for training.

Fujinami, who left the troubled life at NPB and moved to the major leagues this season. However, in his debut match, he was hit by Ohtani and was ripped off early. The crisis in the third inning became a stumbling block. He gave up two runs and two walks and three hits in a row, giving up two runs. After that, he continued to shake as he was hit with a 1 RBI left by Ohtani, the designated hitter No. 3, at the bases full. A 159km fastball was hit and hit his left wall right away.

In the end, Fujinami didn’t last long. He was replaced by Adam Ohler after allowing three more runs. As Ohler allowed an additional 5 runs, Fujinami’s record became 8 earned runs on 5 hits in 2 1/3 innings. On the other hand, Ohtani played an active role with 2 hits, 2 RBIs and 1 run in 5 at-bats, playing a key role in the 13-1 victory.

Meanwhile, San Diego Padres infielder Kim Ha-seong swung hard from the beginning of the race. After recording 1 hit in 4 at-bats against the Colorado Rockies on the 31st, which was the opening game, the next day, he played an active role with 3 hits and 1 run in 3 at-bats, including 2 doubles, to start the season smoothly.