Here are 10 things you might not know about Rangers ace Yu Darvish:
1. Eye for talent
Both the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves were scouting Darvish as early as when he was in junior high. Darvish had an opportunity to sign with an MLB club coming out of high school, but chose to play in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league instead. He spent seven years in the NPB before the Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee to acquire his rights and then signed him to a 6 year/$60 million contract in 2012.
2. Smoking in the casino
Darvish was once photographed smoking inside a pachinko parlor, a sort of small casino in Japan. The only problem? He was still in high school, and under the legal age for either smoking or gambling. The photo caused such a stir that Darvish was suspended from high school and not allowed to attend his graduation, according to USA Today’s Paul White.
3. and was also a competitive motocross racer. He tried to get his jerseys sale china
son into both sports, but Yu was not particularly interested, and was drawn more to baseball from an early age, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
4. Family ties
Darvish is the son of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, meaning he held both Iranian and Japanese citizenship as a child. Japanese law required that he choose a singular nationality before his 22nd birthday, so he chose Japanese, in part so he could play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic. “Kids used to say stuff all the time about how I was different,” Darvish told the New York Times in 2009. “It hasn’t been an issue since I was little.”
While warming up, Darvish likes throwing left handed in order to maintain his balance and keep both arms strong. In 2007, he helped establish the Yu Darvish Water Fund, which helped maintain and develop water wells and pumps in developing countries.
7. Oh so close.
In 2007, Darvish posed for a series of racy photos in a Japanese women’s magazine. He was 21 years old at the time.
9. Famous ex wife, famous girlfriend
Darvish may be a big star in Japan, but his ex wife Saeko is just as big of a star. Saeko is a very well known television and film actress. The two married in 2007 and had two children, but divorced in 2011. Darvish is now dating Seiko Yamamoto, a former world champion wrestler, and the two had a baby boy together in July 2015.
10. He’s a great teammate
In Michael J. Mooney’s ESPN profile of Darvish he mentioned a few stories of Darvish’s interactions with his teammates.
In 2013, Darvish invited pitcher Martin Perez out for sushi the night before Perez was scheduled to start against the Angels.
‘Darvish was confident he’d get the win so confident that as they walked up and down Rodeo Drive, Darvish bought him “a really, really nice watch” as an early congratulatory gift. Perez won the next day.’