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Who was MVP of the 2023 World Baseball Classic? Japan’s Shohei Ohtani wins award

Japan’s star player took home the award after a stellar tournament and final game.

Japan’s star player took home the award after a stellar tournament and final game.

Japan beat Team USA in a dramatic final game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic to become the first team to achieve 3 wins in the tournament’s history. And to top off an historic victory, their talisman took home the award for Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Shohei Ohtani, pitcher and batter and everything else, was presented with the award after sealing the 3-2 win for his nation at loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida.

Ohtani had a fantastic tournament, and became just the second player in Japan’s history to receive the award, after Daisuke Matsuzaka’s performances in both 2006 and 2009.

Shohei’s pre-game speech was befitting of the final drama

At the Top 9th, Shohei Ohtani was Japan’s closer as Mike Trout - Team USA’s best swinger - stepped up. Ohtani and Trout served up the drama that every final deserves and the Japanese got the better of his opponent as the American went out swinging to give the title to Shohei, whose pre-game speech was released after the tie ended: “Let’s stop admiring them. … If you admire them, you can’t surpass them. We came here to surpass them, to reach the top. For one day, let’s throw away our admiration for them and just think about winning.”

It was the final everybody wanted, with the drama everybody dreamed of. And after it all, Japan are back on top of the baseball world.