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Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani smiles in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. Image Credit: AP

Tokyo: Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani revealed on Thursday that he has gotten married and is “very excited” to embark on the next chapter of his life.

In an Instagram post that racked up more than 750,000 likes in just 25 minutes, the Los Angeles Dodgers star announced he had tied the knot.

He said he not only “began a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers but I also... began a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me and I wanted everyone to know I am now married”.

Move forward together

“I am excited for what is (to) come and thank you for your support.”

The 29-year-old, who won his second American League Most Valuable Player award in six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels last year, included a picture of his dog with its tongue lolling out in the bottom corner of the post.

“The two of us (and our dog) will support each other and we hope to move forward together with all of our fans,” he also wrote in Japanese.

He added that he and his wife were “still immature in many ways, but we would appreciate your kind support”.

Known for his skills as a pitcher as well as swinging the bat, Ohtani’s fame is stratospheric in Japan and abroad, and he is nicknamed “Sho-Time” for his huge popularity.

Richest contract

Ohtani joined the Dodgers in December, signing a 10-year deal worth $700 million — the richest contract in the history of North American sport.

The move followed weeks of frenzied speculation over which team he would move to.

He made his Dodgers pre-season debut on Tuesday, smashing a home run in his new team’s win over the Chicago White Sox.

Ohtani left the Los Angeles Angels last year for free agency after failing to enjoy even a winning season, much less reach the MLB playoffs.

He also helped Japan win last year’s World Baseball Classic.