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Shohei Ohtani and the Negro Leagues’ two-way stars


So Ohtani isn’t someone we’ve missed in baseball since Ruth. He isn’t a once-in-a-century talent. He is a multitalented athlete, in a generation when baseball may have more than ever, and one whose manager, Joe Maddon, has allowed him to shine, maybe out of compulsion. With arguably the game’s best player, outfielder Mike Trout, sidelined by injury, Maddon was left with a short-circuited Angels offense. Ohtani has been leaned upon as a batter to help flip the switch — not unlike Radcliffe was in 1929 when his Detroit Stars’ pitching staff was shortened by injuries and he answered the call for an extra arm. That’s when “Double Duty” was born, if not dubbed.



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