Since time immemorial, Japanese players have made their mark in the MLB. We have seen the likes of Seattle Mariners legend, Ichiro Suzuki, as well as New York Yankees outfielder, Hideki Matsui. If there is one player who is definitely emulating these illustrious footsteps, it is Yu Darvish. Darvish commenced his pro career in his native Japan; winning several trophies and collecting numerous individual accolades. The pitcher joined the MLB in 2012 and has since proved that he is no fluke.
Yu Darvish Biography (Age)
Farid Yu Darvishsefat was born on the 16th of August 1986 in Habikino, a city in Osaka prefecture, Japan. His father, Farsad Darvishsefat is Iranian while his mother, Ikuyo, is Japanese. Darvish’s dad grew up in the United States of America and attended Eckerd College, St Petersburg, Florida. He played college soccer and also met his future wife (Ikuyo) at Eckerd. The couple eventually tied the knot and moved back to Japan in the early 80s. Darvish grew up in Japan and started playing baseball when he was just in the 2nd grade. He would go on to lead his school to a third-place finish at an international tourney, as well as the quarterfinal of a national competition. For his senior high education, Yu Darvish attended the famed Tohoku High School located in Sendai. He spent two years at the school during which he led his team to appearances in the national high school baseball invitational tournament as well as the national high school baseball championships (in both junior and senior year).
Following his outstanding high school exploits, Darvish unsurprisingly received offers from several Japanese league sides. He also attracted attention from MLB teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. The young man, however, decided to stay back in his native Japan and promptly signed up with professional league side, Hokkaido Nippon-ham fighters. Darvish would go on to spend a total of six years with the franchise (2005 – 2011) during which he broke several league records. He also led his team to many trophies including the Japan Series (2006), and the Pacific League title (2006, 2007).
Additionally, the pitcher racked up several individual honours including Pacific League MVP (twice), Pacific League strikeout title (thrice), Asia Series MVP (once), and Mitsui Golden Glove Award (twice). Yu Darvish finally joined the MLB in 2012 and has since played for teams such as The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. Even though the Japanese pitcher is yet to land an MLB trophy, he has received All-Star honours on multiple occasions (in 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2017).
Yu Darvish’s Family (Wife and Children)
Darvish has been married on two occasions. His first marriage was to the Japanese model, actress and media personality, Saeko, in November 2007. The couple’s wedding was reportedly a shotgun affair as they got married due to impending childbirth. Darvish and Saeko welcomed two sons in the course of their union and divorced in 2012. The MLB star is now married to fellow Japanese, Seiko Yamamoto. Yamamoto is equally a gifted athlete as she is a professional wrestler. She has won several laurels including two Asian Wrestling Championships titles as well as four gold medals at the World Wrestling Championships. Darvish and Seiko commenced their relationship in 2015 and have since tied the knot. The couple now has two sons together.
Yu Darvish boasts of a tall and athletic physique. He is 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall while his weight is given as 102 kg or 224.8 lbs. An ideal baseball pitcher should not be too small (6 feet and below) or too tall (6 feet 6 inches tall and above) but should be somewhere in between. Darvish obviously possesses the ideal height and build for a pitcher, and this has no doubt contributed to his career successes.
Other Facts about the Baseball Player
– Darvish previously had dual Iranian and Japanese nationalities. He, however, gave up his Iranian nationality at the age of 21 due to the requirements of Japanese law.
– He was caught smoking and gambling in 2005 while still a minor. His indiscretions attracted a suspension from his school as well as probation and community service from his team
– Darvish is the 14th pitcher in Japanese league history to throw a complete-game shutout as a rookie out of high school.
– He is the youngest player in Japanese league history to have a 200 million yen contract. He achieved this in 2007 at the age of 21.
– The MLB star has a charity project known as the Yu Darvish Water Fund. The fund is dedicated to providing potable water for people in developing countries.
– He has appeared in commercials for companies such as Seiko and Pocari Sweat.
– Darvish was named GQ Man of the Year by the Japanese issue of GQ Magazine in 2012.