‘Everybody’s jaw dropped’: Shohei Ohtani’s teammates share their best stories about his legendary power

  • Joined ESPN in 2016 to cover the Los Angeles Rams
  • Previously covered the Angels for MLB.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani’s major league career was barely a month old, by which point his prodigious power, and the epic rounds of batting practice it produced, was still mostly legend on this side of the globe. Then the Los Angeles Angels visited the Colorado Rockies on May 8, 2018. It was a partly cloudy Tuesday afternoon in the upper 60s, and the ball was jumping off Ohtani’s bat as he navigated through a BP session at Coors Field, a famed playpen for the sport’s best power hitters. Momentum began to build, a crowd continued to swell, each ball seemed to travel longer than the one before it — and then Ohtani unleashed what some consider the longest home run in the history of the sport’s most hitter-friendly ballpark.

The baseball was driven to right-center with backspin, clearing the bullpen, then the first section of seats, then the concourse, then the second deck, then the third, ultimately smashing into the railing that lines the first of two rooftop sections at Coors Field, a place few, if any, have ever ventured.

“Everybody’s jaw dropped,” Angels hitting instructor Paul Sorrento said.

“It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen,” said former teammate and current Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Kole Calhoun. “Ever.”

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