Yu Darvish museum in the works in Japan
If you need more proof of how big a star Yu Darvish is in Japan, you might get it this fall.
Plans are in the works for Darvish to get his own museum in southern Japan, according to media reports in Japan.
Darvish, 26, was born in Osaka and went to high school in Sendai. He began his professional career in Japan, playing seven seasons for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Darvish went 93-38 with a 1.99 in Japan and was twice named the Pacific League's Most Valuable Player.
As big a star as Darvish is on the field, he also has a rock-star-like following off it. Paparazzi follow him in his home country, and a large media contingent followed his every move after he signed a six-year deal with the Rangers last January.
Darvish didn't hurt the museum cause in his first year with the Rangers, making the All-Star team and going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA. He was also the starter for the Texas loss to Baltimore in the wild-card game, allowing two earned runs in 6-2/3 innings.
Darvish isn't the first Japanese player in the majors to get the museum treatment. There is also a museum dedicated to Ichiro Suzuki. Artifacts include childhood books and toys of Ichiro, as well as baseball stuff. That museum, which no longer has a functioning website, is run by Ichiro's mother and opened in 2002 at the height of Ichiro's popularity with the Seattle Mariners.