IPPEI MIZUHARA is a Japanese language interpreter employed by the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Mizuhara is most well-known for serving as the interpreter for Dodgers player SHOHEI OHTANI, translating Japanese to English and vice versa for Ohtani's media appearances and teammate interactions.
He previously worked for the Boston Red Sox as an interpreter for Hideki Okajima and for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), where Ohtani played for five seasons, as an interpreter for several of the team's Anglophone players.
Mizuhara has gained popularity among baseball fans for his close association with Ohtani. He frequently aids Ohtani in non-interpreting contexts, such as catching his bullpen sessions or playing catch with him during pregame warmups. During the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby, Mizuhara served as Ohtani's catcher.
Ippei Mizuhara not only offers Ohtani help in communicating in English but is also an ever-present figure in the dugout and at training while providing the Los Angeles Angels player a foe to battle in online games.
Mizuhara gave Ohtani rides to and from the ballpark until Ohtani got his California driver's license after his second season in the United States, and even made grocery runs for him when players were advised to stay home last year because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said the two go together like "peanut butter and jelly," a perfect sidekick for Ohtani as he navigates baseball's biggest challenges.