Ohtani, Fanatics team up for exclusive memorabilia deal
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) looks up during his at-bat during the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani, Fanatics team up for exclusive memorabilia deal

Global memorabilia and merchandise brand Fanatics announced Tuesday they are teaming up with Los Angeles Angels multitalented superstar Shohei Ohtani for an exclusive memorabilia deal, ESPN reported. 

Fanatics said in a statement the multiyear partnership will make them the exclusive distributor of merchandise autographed by Ohtani, including signed bats, jerseys, and game-used items. (Baseball cards are not part of the deal.) Ohtani will sign memorabilia in both English and Japanese, the report detailed.

The partnership makes sense, given Ohtani has become Fanatics' top seller since they added his merchandise to their site just a week ago. This follows the Iwate, Japan product accounting for 28% of merch sales at this year's All-Star Game, according to ESPN.

"This is something we've been working towards for a while," Fanatics executive vice president Victor Shaffer said in the statement. "(This) will be the first time fans are going to be offered a full array of (Ohtani's) memorabilia products. The strength of his celebrity and his collectability extends well beyond the United States."

While Ohtani merchandise is flying off of shelves, the 26-year-old continues to impress on the baseball diamond. He currently possesses a 3.21 ERA with 95 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP on the season. At the plate, he's slashing .277/.362/.686 with a league-leading 34 home runs.

Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

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