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Fans greet rookie of the year Ohtani at Narita airport on return to Japan

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels arrives at Narita International Airport from the United States on Nov. 21, 2018. (Mainichi/Naoki Watanabe)

NARITA, Chiba -- Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani returned to Japan aboard a flight from the U.S. city to Narita International Airport here on Nov. 21 and was greeted by about 250 enthusiastic fans.

The 24-year-old player won a Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award for the 2018 season after he was recognized as the best first-year player in the American League.

At the airport, Ohtani appeared at the arrival lobby in a suit. He looked healthy despite having had surgery on his right elbow in October and acted shyly when fans cheered, "You did it!"

Minoru Utsugi, a 41-year-old company employee living in Saitama Prefecture, said, "I saw the broad back of the rookie of the year. On top of his batting, I expect he will pitch well again soon."

(Japanese original by Nanami Kako, Narita Bureau)

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