Los Angeles Angels star slugger and pitcher Shohei Ohtani had the best-selling jersey of any Major League Baseball player this season, the first time a Japanese player topped the list.
MLB and its players union announced the most popular jerseys on Friday with the league's online sales pace set by Ohtani despite his season ending last month with a torn right elbow ligament. No sales figures were released.
Ohtani has spent six seasons with the Angels without the club producing a winning season despite his taking the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player award and Rookie of the Year in 2018.
Now those jerseys might be collector's items as Ohtani is expected to sign a new contract with another MLB team for the 2024 campaign.
Ohtani, often compared to 1920s legend Babe Ruth for his slugging and pitching dual threat, will not pitch in the 2024 season to help his arm recover but will still be able to hit.
This year, Ohtani batted .304 with 44 home runs, 95 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases while on the mound, the 29-year-old right-hander went 10-5 with a 3.14 earned-run average and 167 strikeouts.
Second on the MLB jersey sales list was Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, a 25-year-old Venezuelan outfielder who became the first player to produce 70 stolen bases and 40 homers in the same season.
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was third followed by San Diego's Dominican shortstop Fernando Tatis and U.S. outfielder Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers.