The Texas Rangers didn’t want to part with Yu Darvish. Baseball business dictated they should, however, so in the final moments before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline general manager Jon Daniels pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal, sending the impending free agent to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the days since, the respect between Darvish and the franchise that brought him to the United States has been apparent. But it went to a level rarely seen this weekend when we learned the Rangers took out a full-page ad in the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s national daily paper.
The text translates to: “To Yu Darvish, In appreciation for your dedication to hard work, many accomplishments since 2012, thank you for your All-Star performance.”
We’ve grown accustomed to players taking out ads to thank the organization and community they’re departing. Not surprisingly, Darvish did exactly that on his way out of Texas this week. It’s not often we see it go both ways, and especially not to this scale. The Rangers wanted more than just Darvish and their own fanbase to know how much they appreciated him, they wanted his entire family and his homeland to know it.
That is a terrific gesture on the Rangers part. One that Darvish’s family truly appreciated.
— Seiko Darvish (@seiko63) August 6, 2017
Darvish came to MLB with incredible hype, and we’re sure some would suggest he hasn’t completely lived up to it because he didn’t bring a World Series championship to Texas or hasn’t won a Cy Young (he was the runner up in 2013).
We’d disagree. Though his 5 1/2 years with the Rangers undoubtedly had their ups and downs, the downs mostly came from injuries. When healthy, he was an undisputed ace. He was a big part of some really good Rangers teams. But more important than all of that, he earned the respect of his peers and Rangers fans.
For that, Darvish deserved one final salute from Texas.
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