Meet Yu Darvish, the Japanese Iranian star baseball player for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. See photos, video and a biography of Yu below.
Searches for this popular Japanese Iranian pitching star have gone up since the article by from ESPN senior writer Jim Caple has been released. Read the story here.
As a biography, Yu Darvish was born on August 16, 1986 in Habikino, Osaka, Japan. He is 21 years old. His father, Farsad Darvish, is Iranian, and his mother, Ikuyo is Japanese. His parents met while they were studying at Eckerd College, and Farsad was on the school soccer team as well as played on the Iranian national football team. Farsad and Ikuyo married in 1982 and moved to Osaka, Japan.
As Yu was growing up, his father tried to teach him soccer, but Yu was not interested. Yu was the pitcher for Tohoku High School and during his senior year pitched a no hitter. He has taken part in the Koshien National High School Baseball tournament four times. After his impressive showing during the tournament, he was scouted by several MLB and Japanese teams. The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters drafted him in 2004 with their first pick and signed him on.
Yu came under fire when he was caught smoking in a pachinko parlor during one of his days off from Spring Training in 2005. He was underage at the time. He was later suspended from the team and had to serve community service.
Although Yu was suspended, he still made his debut with the team later on in the season. In 2006, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won their first Japan Series, with their last win having been in 1961. He went on to win the Konami Cup Asia Series 2006 and was chosen as the MVP for the series.
Last year, after a Ham Fighters win, Yu made the announcement that the actress he met just three months before was pregnant and he was going to marry her. The news made headlines in Japan. He married the Japanese actress, Saeko, in November. She gave birth to their son in March 2008.
This Japanese Iranian pitching phenom recently posed nude in a women’s lifestyle magazine, and is the spokesperson for DyDo’s D-1 canned coffee.
More photos and video of Yu Darvish are below.