Shohei Ohtani home run ball controversy: Dodgers extend peace invitation to fan who caught Japanese phenom’s milestone homer

Shohei Ohtani home run ball controversy: Dodgers extend peace invitation to fan who caught Japanese phenom’s milestone homer

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani smashed his maiden home run for the LA Dodgers inside Dodger Stadium in a regular-season game on Wednesday against the SF Giants. Ohtani hit a towering homer in the center field, which went 430 feet off a 93.2-mph sinker by Giants reliever Taylor Rogers.

However, not everything turned out well for the fan who caught Shohei Ohtani’s historic ball. Ambar Roman complained that she was threatened to give away the ball by the Dodgers officials present in the stands.

Roman’s husband, Alexis Valenzuela, alleged that she was taken to a room surrounded by LA’s officials and forced to hand over the historic home run ball for a lesser trade.

However, that two days after the incident, the Dodgers organization have reportedly invited the couple for an exclusive on-field experience inside Dodger Stadium as an informal peace offering.

The organization reportedly even vowed to better assess and modify their retrieval process for historic baseballs from the fans, hinting at fair and equal compensation in the future.

Shohei Ohtani’s fan claim disputed, superstar relieved to hit his first home run in Dodgers uniform

While Shohei Ohtani claimed via his interpretor that he met Roman personally and exchanged the ball for some Dodgers gear that he signed, she reiterated that the couple never got to meet with the Dodgers two-way ace on the night.

Roman even alleged that the LA Dodgers officials refused to authenticate the ball if she wouldn’t give it up and later resorted to a five-item trade involving the milestone home run ball, in which Ambar and her husband Valenzuela received two signed baseball caps and a signed baseball bat.

Meanwhile, Ohtani could not hide his relief after his first home run for the Dodgers. In the post-game interview, Ohtani, via his interpreter Will Ireton, said:

“Honestly, very relieved that I was able to hit my first homer. It’s been a while and honestly my swing hasn’t been great. So overall very relieved.”

While it didn’t take Shotime to hit his maiden home run in the Dodger Blue during spring training, it took him 41 plate appearances in the 2024 MLB regular season to knock one out of the park.

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