Lars Nootbaar Gains Massive Instagram Following During WBC As St. Louis Cardinals Teammate Issues Warning To Gold Medalist

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Although the United States lost Tuesday night’s World Baseball Classic final, American-born Lars Nootbaar went home with a gold medal. The 25-year-old St. Louis Cardinals outfielder played for Team Japan and became an international sensation.

Nootbaar, who played college baseball at USC, was born to Charlie Nootbaar, his American father of Dutch, English, and German descent, and Kumiko Enokida, his Japanese mother. It has always been his dream to represent his mom’s native country on the biggest stage, and the return of the World Baseball Classic in 2023 presented that opportunity.

There were challenges, considering that Nootbaar did not and does not speak the language.

The language barrier didn’t stop Nootbaar from fitting right in.

And by the end of the tournament, Nootbaar was beloved by his teammates and the fans in Japan. He became something of a folk hero, and his pepper grinder celebration has taken the country by storm.

At the start of the World Baseball Classic, on March 1st, Nootbaar had 59,000 followers on Instagram. On the day after the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic, March 22nd, he has 772,000.

It was an absolute blast.

Nootbaar could not be more grateful for his new fanbase.

And he was extremely humble in victory.

His mom was thrilled for her son and her country, which led to an extremely wholesome moment with Shohei Ohtani.

Although it is easy to be happy for Nootbaar, his World Baseball Classic success came at the expense of the United States. Ohtani struck out Mike Trout to claim the gold medal and relegate Team USA to silver.

Lars Nootbaar has been warned!

Now that the World Baseball Classic is over, MLB participants will return to the States and rejoin their respective organizations for spring training. Nootbaar’s teammate, the ever-eclectic Miles Mikolas, has set some ground rules for their reuniting.

Mikolas was on the losing side, and issued a warning to his teammate. He said that it would be a bold move for Nootbaar to bring his gold medal into the clubhouse.

When the Cardinals get back together on Thursday, Nootbaar will have well-deserved bragging rights. But he better watch himself around Mikolas!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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