Shohei Ohtani was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in three years on Thursday, joining a distinguished group of multiple-time winners.

Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods and LeBron James are among the sporting greats who have received the award more than once since its inauguration in 1931.

The accolade is the latest among several for Ohtani in a year that saw him become Major League Baseball's first two-time unanimous league MVP before securing the most lucrative contract in professional sports history.

The Japanese two-way superstar is set to make his National League debut next year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed him to a $700 million, 10-year deal this offseason after six seasons for the American League's Los Angeles Angels.

"Shohei is arguably the most talented player who's ever played this game," Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, said after the signing.

Ohtani previously collected the AP award in 2021, the first time he was a unanimous choice for MVP.

He started this year by spearheading Japan's World Baseball Classic championship in March, clinching the trophy with his dramatic strikeout of U.S. star and Angels teammate Mike Trout.

He went on to lead the AL in home runs with 44, batted .304 with 95 RBIs, and posted a 1.066 on-base plus slugging percentage. Those numbers helped him earn the Silver Slugger Award as the AL's best offensive player at designated hitter. On the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings.

Ohtani also became the first Japanese winner of the Hank Aaron Award, which recognized him as the best offensive performer in the AL.