Baseball-MLB star Shohei Ohtani announces marriage, keeps bride's name secret

Feb 27, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) takes the field prior to the game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/ File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) -Shohei Ohtani, the dual-threat Major League Baseball star and national hero in Japan, has announced via Instagram his marriage to a Japanese woman he did not identify.

The post was made shortly before midnight in Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday. No other details about Ohtani's spouse were given in the post, which said he would address the press the following day.

The 29-year-old won his second Most Valuable Player award last year after leading the American League with 44 home runs and notching 10 wins as a pitcher.

In December he signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers after six years with the Angels.

"To all my friends and fans throughout, I have an announcement to make: Not only have I begun a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers, but I also have begun a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me and I wanted everyone to know I am now married," the post read.

"I am excited for what is (to) come and thank you for your support," the post in English said.

Fans in Japan extended their congratulations to the home-grown hero.

"I think anybody would be good (for him)! I think it's a good thing because he's probably happy," Tomomi Sakai, a nurse in her 50s, told Reuters.

Taro Nakao, a 19-year-old university student said; "I think if he's happy in his personal life then he might play better in matches as well."

Despite being one of the most famous people in Japan, Ohtani is famously reserved. He high-fived a small dog in a November video announcement of his MVP win, but it was not until a press conference in Dodger Stadium the following month that the world learned the dog's name.

A picture of the dog, known as "Dekopin," appeared at the bottom of Ohtani's marriage notice on Instagram.

(Reporting by Tom Bateman, Kantaro Komiya, Rocky Swift and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Ken Ferris)

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