The Los Angeles Dodgers had fairly the trump card of their profitable recruitment of Shohei Ohtani.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote a lengthy feature diving into the Dodgers’ pursuit of Ohtani, and revealed that the workforce used a secretly-recorded recruiting video from Kobe Bryant as a part of their presentation to lure the star.
Bryant had recorded the video in 2017, when Ohtani first got here to Main League Baseball, as a favor to the Dodgers. The workforce had meant to make use of the video as a part of a closing pitch to Ohtani, however by no means obtained that far, because the two-way star was reluctant to signal with a Nationwide League workforce at a time when the designated hitter was nonetheless solely within the American League.
The Dodgers saved the video, even after Bryant’s demise in January 2020, and determined to make use of it after they obtained their probability to pitch themselves to Ohtani this time on Dec. 1. Despite the fact that the clip was solely roughly a minute lengthy, Ohtani admitted that it had undoubtedly made an influence.
“That was one of many highlights of the entire assembly,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. “I used to be actually stunned to see it. It was a robust and touching message.”
Ohtani took one other 9 days to make a last determination after that assembly, however in the end selected the Dodgers. The group’s dedication to profitable was the key factor in Ohtani’s decision, and the workforce with the ability to showcase a video from a legendary competitor in Bryant may solely assist drive that dwelling.