Iranian-Japanese baseball player Darvish voted All-Star

By Nima Shaahinfar | [email protected]

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.