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Volume 25 No. 214
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Demand For Ohtani Merchandise Caught Angels By Surprise In '18

Instant popularity among Angels fans forced the team to create more Ohtani-related merchandise
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The popularity of Angels DH/P Shohei Ohtani during his rookie year in '18 forced the team's merchandising unit to "play catch-up for an entire season," according to Jim Allen of KYODO NEWS. Eric Ursua, who oversees the Legends apparel store at Angel Stadium, said, "We weren't ready. When we started off (after his signing), we only had like three or four Ohtani items. ... By the end of the season, we had six- or seven-dozen different items. We had no idea we would need so many different Ohtani items." Ursua did not give specifics for sales of Ohtani merchandise because the team does not break it down by player, but he said, "We had a great increase in team merchandise sales." He did say that the volume growth compared with the '17 season "was in double digits" (KYODO NEWS, 2/7).