Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Baseball Phenom Shohei Ohtani Sits Down for Exclusive Interview With FOX Sports' Ben Verlander

Baseball Phenom Shohei Ohtani Sits Down for Exclusive Interview With FOX Sports' Ben Verlander

The special premieres Tuesday, Oct. 18.

FOX Sports' award-winning baseball personality and star of the podcast FLIPPIN' BATS, Ben Verlander, sits down with international baseball phenom and Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter, Shohei Ohtani, for an exclusive all-access interview and in-depth conversation about Ohtani's unique path to superstardom, the network announced today.

SEARCHING FOR SHOHEI: AN INTERVIEW SPECIAL, a 60-minute special feature produced for FOX Sports Films by award-winning sports media company Religion of Sports, premieres Tuesday, Oct. 18, on FS1 following the network's live MLB Postseason coverage, and will be available across FOX Sports' digital platforms, including FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports app.

"FOX Sports Films is excited to showcase Shohei Ohtani's incredible story and authentically celebrate the impact he's making on the game of baseball around the world," said Barry Nugent, Vice President, Development and Original Programming, FOX Sports. "This project is special because it's the result of a great relationship that's been built over the years between Ben and Shohei culminating in this one-of-a-kind interview."

"Red Sox fan first. Shohei fan forever," said Gotham Chopra, Religion of Sports' co-founder. "This is not just a baseball player. This is an icon. Working with Shohei and Ben is everything RELIGION OF SPORTS is about and we couldn't be more thrilled to be collaborating with him on this special project."

Chronicling Ohtani's upbringing in Japan and continuing through present day as Major League Baseball's reigning American League MVP, SEARCHING FOR SHOHEI intimately details Ohtani's origin story and unique path to becoming one of the game's biggest stars. Throughout the interview, Verlander, in parallel with his one-on-one discussion with Ohtani, shares his own first-hand experience from a 10-day visit to Japan where he takes in the culture and disciplined lifestyle that shaped Ohtani into THE PLAYER he is today: MVP, All-Star, Silver Slugger and former Rookie of the Year.

"One thing that surprised me from my sit down with Shohei was how he actually never thought being a two-way player at the highest level was even an option," Verlander reveals. "At 18 years old he thought he was going to be a pitcher - but then the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters came along and pitched him the idea of being a two-way player. Thus, the legend was born."

Verlander, who joined FOX Sports in 2020 as an MLB analyst for FOXSports.com after five years as a professional baseball player in the Detroit Tigers organization, is currently in his second season as host of the award-winning FLIPPIN' BATS podcast, where he frequently champions and admires Ohtani's abilities as a two-way star at baseball's highest level.

FLIPPIN' BATS features a weekly segment titled This Week in Ohtani News, which incorporates Japanese subtitles into each video and is consistently ranked as the No. 1 baseball podcast in Japan. Since FLIPPIN' BATS' debut, Verlander has earned a Cynopsis Media Award as 'Best Host' and has been nominated for multiple Hashtag Sports Awards and received Cynopsis Sports Media recognition for the podcast's live, on-site coverage of the 2021 World Series.

SEARCHING FOR SHOHEI is executive produced by FOX Sports' Eric Shanks, Mark Silverman, Barry Nugent, Charlie Dixon and Michael Bucklin alongside Gotham Chopra and Ameeth Sankaran from RELIGION OF SPORTS and Nick Trotta from Major League Baseball, and is directed by Bradley Jackson, who recently directed the SXSW official selection "Facing Nolan" about the life and career of former MLB pitcher Nolan Ryan.

FOX Sports Films is dedicated to presenting captivating global longform sports storytelling through an unconventional and entertaining lens. Working with FOX Sports' league and conference partners, the brand produces original programming, connecting live sports events to sports culture.

Additional clips and highlights from Verlander's trip can be found on FLIPPIN' BATS' social media accounts @FlippinBatsPod, as well as @MLBonFOX social channels, the FOX Sports app and FOXSports.com.



Related Stories View More TV Stories
Everything You Need to Know About the WICKED Movie Photo
It's a guide to the Wicked movie. The hit Broadway musical Wicked is officially coming to the big screen! BroadwayWorld collected all the information we could about the upcoming film - including who's starring, what roles haven't yet been cast, and what will change from stage to screen.

Alan Cumming to Host THE TRAITORS Competition Series on Peacock Photo
Set in a remote castle in the Scottish Highlands and based on the wildly popular Dutch series of the same name, 5-time Emmy-nominated Alan Cumming plays host to twenty larger-than-life personalities, including Brandi Glanville, Kyle Cooke, Ryan Lochte, Kate Chastain, Reza Farahan, Rachel Reilly, Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick, and more.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Sit Down with David Letterman Photo
David Letterman will be joined by Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the next episode of My Next Guest Is. In the episode, David Letterman travels to Kyiv, Ukraine, for an in-depth conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in front of a small live audience. Watch a video clip from the upcoming episode now!

Cartoonito Renews BATWHEELS For a Second Season Photo
Following its premiere, the series became Cartoon Network’s #1 original preschool series with Boys ages 2-5 this year and is the #1 original preschool show on HBO Max. “Batwheels” marks DC’s first-ever Batman preschool show featuring a high-speed, vibrant CGI-animated iteration of the Caped Crusader.


From This Author - Michael Major


Joshua Henry to Release New Single 'Can't Nobody Tell Us Nothin'' Next WeekJoshua Henry to Release New Single 'Can't Nobody Tell Us Nothin'' Next Week
December 7, 2022

The track will be released days before Henry appears as Gaston in ABC's Beauty & the Beast: A 30th Celebration, which will air on Thursday, December 15. Henry teased the single with a new video taken backstage at Into the Woods at the St. James Theatre. Listen to a sneak peek at the song now!

Jay-Z Joins Bid For Caesars Palace Times Square CasinoJay-Z Joins Bid For Caesars Palace Times Square Casino
December 7, 2022

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has joined SL Green and Caesars Entertainment in the proposal to build a casino in Times Square. The potential casino would be called Caesars Palace Times Square and would be located at 1515 Broadway, in the same building complex as the Minskoff Theatre, where The Lion King is currently running on Broadway.

Alan Cumming to Host THE TRAITORS Competition Series on PeacockAlan Cumming to Host THE TRAITORS Competition Series on Peacock
December 7, 2022

Set in a remote castle in the Scottish Highlands and based on the wildly popular Dutch series of the same name, 5-time Emmy-nominated Alan Cumming plays host to twenty larger-than-life personalities, including Brandi Glanville, Kyle Cooke, Ryan Lochte, Kate Chastain, Reza Farahan, Rachel Reilly, Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick, and more.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Sit Down with David Letterman on MY NEXT GUEST ISVolodymyr Zelenskyy to Sit Down with David Letterman on MY NEXT GUEST IS
December 7, 2022

David Letterman will be joined by Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the next episode of My Next Guest Is. In the episode, David Letterman travels to Kyiv, Ukraine, for an in-depth conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in front of a small live audience. Watch a video clip from the upcoming episode now!

Silo Music Names Lauren Harman as President of Film/TV LicensingSilo Music Names Lauren Harman as President of Film/TV Licensing
December 7, 2022

Jack Ormandy, Co-Founder of Silo Music has announced the appointment of Lauren Harman to the position of President, Film/TV Licensing for the company. As a music industry vet of over 17 years, Harman will bring her sync expertise and the amalgamation of her many relationships in the music, film and advertising communities to Silo.