Shohei Ohtani announced Thursday on his Instagram page that he will be donating 60,000 youth baseball gloves to elementary schools in his native Japan.
"I’m hoping the kids can spend their days happily with a lot of energy through baseball," Ohtani wrote. "I’ll be looking forward to sharing the field one day with someone that grew up using this glove!"
New Balance, which signed Ohtani to a "long-term" partnership deal in January, will be providing the gloves.
Ohtani, a native of Ōshū, Japan, began his professional baseball career with the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball in 2013 at age 18. He played five seasons with the team before signing with the Los Angeles Angels in December 2017.
Currently the most sought-after free agent on the market, Ohtani was named a finalist for the 2023 American League MVP award. He won the award in 2021 after a season that saw him hit 46 home runs while also pitching full-time.