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Remembering Shohei Ohtani at Koshien

Ohtani threw 100 mph at age 18 during the Japanese high school tournament

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BASEBALL-JPN-USA Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

ESPN on Monday night broadcast ‘Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams,’ a 2019 documentary by Ema Ryan Yamazaki highlighting the acclaimed Japanese high school baseball championship tournament held for over a century.

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani gained national acclaim during the Koshien tournament in 2012 when, at only 18 years old, he threw 100 mph.

“Koshien is like our World Series,” Ohtani said during the documentary. “Except that it’s single-elimination, so one loss and it’s over. The hardest part is even getting to Koshien.”

The filmmaker went even further, comparing the tournament to both the World Series and the Super Bowl, in an interview with C. Trent Rosecrans at The Athletic:

“There’s not one single thing — you have to combine the two craziest sporting events that I think exist in the U.S.,” Yamazaki said. “That’s what I say, and I’m not sure it does it justice.”