Shohei Ohtani's wife, Mamiko Tanaka, cheers on Dodgers star in team debut


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Mamiko Tanaka was in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday to cheer on her husband, Shohei Ohtani, as the MLB superstar made his official Los Angeles Dodgers debut.

The ESPN broadcast showed Tanaka several times in her Dodgers jersey and cap as she watched Los Angeles top the San Diego Padres 5-2 in the first game of the Seoul Series, which jump-started the 2024 MLB season. Ohtani had a crucial RBI in the eighth inning to help in the win.

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Mamiko Tanaka, center, wife of Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, watches during an opening day baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Dodgers at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Tanaka, a Japanese basketball player, accompanied her husband to South Korea a few weeks after the Dodgers star shockingly revealed he had gotten married in the offseason. Ohtani said Saturday it was the first time that his wife came with him to a game like the ones in Seoul.

“So I think it’s going to be really great memories for both of us. But like I said earlier, I have one job to focus on. It’s baseball,” he said through an interpreter.

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Ohtani was also asked about the media focus while in Asia.

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Shohei and Mamiko arrive in Seoul

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani and his wife Mamiko Tanaka walk with security during the baseball team’s arrival at Incheon International Airport on Friday, March 15, 2024, in Incheon, South Korea, ahead of the team’s baseball series against the San Diego Padres. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

“I appreciate all the attention. Obviously, attention is always great, being a baseball player and being able to play with these great guys next to me. I’m really excited,” he said alongside Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

“I’m really used to the attention, but I just try to focus on what’s in front of me, whatever it is.”

Ohtani announced on Feb. 29 he had married a “normal Japanese woman” he had known for nearly four years. However, it was not until a later post surfaced featuring Tanaka that her true identity was revealed.

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Shohei Ohtani vs Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, center, talks with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara during the ninth inning of an opening day baseball game against the San Diego Padres at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Tanaka played for the Fujitsu Red Wave in the Women’s Japan Basketball League from 2019-23.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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