New Dodger phenomenon Shohei Ohtani performed Santa for a fellow participant’s household Friday, gifting a brand new sports activities automotive to Ashley Kelly for her tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign to lure him to the Dodgers by providing Ohtani her husband’s jersey quantity.
Kelly is married to reduction pitcher Joe Kelly, who wore No. 17 — the identical quantity Ohtani wore in all six years of his Main League Baseball profession with the Angels, the place he earned two American League MVP awards and have become a two-way phenomenon as a pitcher and a slugger.
As Ohtani mulled his free company determination earlier this month, Ashley Kelly launched a humorous social media campaign to convey the Japanese famous person to the Dodgers by assuring him that he may proceed to put on No. 17 as a Dodger.
Utilizing the hashtag #ohtake17, the previous UC Riverside ladies’s soccer participant posted a video on Instagram through which she promised Ohtani not solely her husband’s jersey quantity, however all the household’s gear bearing it — even those that additionally characteristic Joe Kelly’s picture and/or title. After Ohtani signed with the crew, Ashley Kelly adopted up with one other video, this time celebrating Ohtani’s agreeing to a 10-year, $700-million contract with the Dodgers. In it, she gleefully tosses all of the No. 17 objects onto the household’s entrance garden whereas blowing them goodbye kisses.
Her marketing campaign paid off, not less than for her. On Friday night time she posted a video displaying her apprehensively peeking out her entrance door on the sports activities automotive parked in entrance of the Kellys’ home.
“It’s yours,” a person’s voice says, “from Shohei. He wished to reward you a Porsche.”
Jersey numbers are semi-sacred in baseball custom, so it’s frequent for brand new gamers coming to a crew who need a quantity already worn by one other participant to supply that participant one thing of worth for the quantity. Essentially the most distinguished participant sometimes has probably the most leverage, and Ashley Kelly’s playful marketing campaign acknowledged there could be no dispute over who received to put on No. 17 subsequent season.
Ohtani should reward Joe Kelly in different methods for handing over fortunate 17. In the meantime, the reliever who was a part of the Dodgers’ 2020 world championship crew will put on No. 99, which was final worn by pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu.
Occasions employees author Chuck Schilken contributed to this report.