Dodgers avoid drama with fan who caught Shohei Ohtani's record-breaking home run

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The last time Shohei Ohtani hit a landmark home run, the Dodgers landed themselves in hot water, as some weird staff misconduct marred what should've just been an exciting first for their marquee player. The fan who caught Ohtani's first Dodgers home run ball, Ambar Roman, was reportedly separated from her husband after the catch and intimidated by staff into giving it up for two signed hats and a bat that weren't authenticated. The Dodgers also reportedly implied that they wouldn't authenticate the home run ball should Roman choose to keep it.

The team made things right (and cleaned up a PR mess behind them) by inviting Roman her family back to meet Ohtani (on her birthday!) and presumably authenticate the items.

But Ohtani seems scheduled to set or break some kind of record every few weeks, and on Sunday, he was due for another. Hideki Matsui, the best postseason player to ever come out of Japan, had held an MLB record for home runs hit by a Japanese-born player (175) since June 1, 2012, his last season in the majors. On Sunday afternoon, Ohtani hit his 176th home run to break Matsui's record.

This time, there was no dust-up between staff and the person who caught it, because the fan chose to keep it, and it was reportedly authenticated without any drama. It seems like the Dodgers have learned their lesson.

Dodgers seemed to learn from past mistakes after Shohei Ohtani broke Hideki Matsui's home run record

Matsui was 37 when he hit his 175th home run and on his last legs in the majors; Ohtani is 29 and has 10 years with the Dodgers on lock. He was always going to break Matsui's record, but so far he's still far behind Matsui in one very crucial aspect of his playing career: the postseason. The Angels failed to reach the postseason or even crack third in the AL West during Ohtani's tenure, so he has yet to play baseball past the first few days of October.

Matsui saw the postseason six times with the Yankees, won the World Series with them in 2009, and was that year's World Series MVP after hitting .615 with a 2.027 OPS. Ohtani is with the right team to get him to the postseason immediately, but maybe not the right one to get him all the way to the World Series, given their inexplicable October struggles over the past few seasons.

One thing at a time, though. Ohtani has broken yet another record and the Dodgers stopped the Mets from claiming a series win at Dodger Stadium. They're on the right track for now.