Japanese baseball star Ohtani Shohei celebrated a homerun by twisting his fists as if using a pepper grinder in an exhibition game of the national team on Monday before the World Baseball Classic.
Team member Lars Nootbaar of the St. Louis Cardinals makes the gesture in Major League games.
US media report that the Cardinals came up with the gesture while talking about how a hitter can "grind out" at-bats for the team. "Grind out" means work hard to succeed.
The pepper grinder celebration spread among the Cardinals' players, who advanced to the playoffs last year.
Nootbaar played for Japan's national team for the first time on Monday. He got two hits, and made the gesture on base.
Ohtani followed Nootbaar with a homerun, and they did the pepper grinder celebration together.