Iranian-Japanese baseball player Darvish voted All-Star

By Nima Shaahinfar | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was picked in online fan voting for the MLB All-Star Game, which will air Tuesday, July 10 on Fox.

The 25-year-old Iranian-Japanese 1st-year player earned the final spot on the American League team, outpolling Chicago’s Jake Peavy, Baltimore’s Jason Hammel, Kansas City’s Jonathan Broxton and the Los Angeles Angels’ Ernesto Frieri.

Darvish, a right-hander, has posted a 10-5 record for the Rangers since the season started in April. He jumped out to a 6-1 record in his first eight starts.

“I feel very good.” Darvish told the Associated Press Thursday through an interpreter. “I know the way that I got selected was a vote by the fans, so I appreciate all the fans who voted for me. I’m looking forward to it.”

A five-time Japanese league All-Star, Darvish notched a 93-38 record in seven seasons in Japan. Darvish was highly coveted by numerous MLB franchises before signing a six-year contract worth $56 million with Texas in the offseason. The Rangers also paid nearly $52 million in a posting fee to Darvish’s old team, the Nippon Ham-Fighters, for exclusive rights to negotiate with the pitcher.

Darvish was born in Osaka, Japan, to an Iranian father, Farsad Darvish, and a Japanese mother, Ikuyo, who met at a Florida college where Farsad played soccer.

Yu Darvish joins NBA center Hamed Haddadi as the only two active professional Iranian athletes in the four major U.S. sports.