Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish plans to move to Major League Baseball
Japanese baseball superstar Yu Darvish has just said he plans to come to the U.S. to play in the Major League.
This should be exciting news for the MLB, for several reasons: while Darvish is an accomplished and talented pitcher, he's also well-known in Japan as a media-friendly heartthrob whose photogenic mug appears in ads across the country.
One of the many beer and coffee ads sporting Yu Darvish's signature half-smile.
His back story is interesting: the son of an Iranian father and Japanese mother, he was often harassed as a foreigner by his peers. He went on to become a star baseball athlete in high school and was an instant hit with female fans after joining Japan's Pacific League and signing on with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Thanks go his model-like looks, his face became ubiquitous through TV commercials and billboard ads, but what really got his fame going was a controversial photo shoot he did for a woman's fashion and lifestyle magazine.
What baseball player in recent memory has posed naked for a women's magazine? Only Darvish, as I recall. Since baring it all for Glamorous in 2007, he went on to pose nude in An-An and Tarzan, leading a trend for male nude photos in women's magazines.
It should be interesting to see how he fares with the ad agencies and tabloids in the U.S., should his Major League dreams come true.