Fans were elated Tuesday after hearing that Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani had won a Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award, to be recognized as the best first-year player in the American League.

The news was especially welcome for fans in Sapporo — home to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, the club for which Ohtani previously played — coming a mere two months after a devastating earthquake hit Hokkaido.

"I am so happy to hear such joyful news," said a 71-year-old woman in Sapporo who has supported Ohtani since his days with Fighters. "He is Japan's treasure. He was able to display his strength even overseas because he had a strong foundation and character."