Japanese baseball star player Yu Darvish said he moved to the U.S. major league because it was difficult to stay motivated in Japan and he wanted to become the best pitcher in the world.
Darvish, aged 25, signed a $60 million, six-year deal with Texas Rangers last week. He had previously said he did not want to move to the U.S., but since it had become a little too easy to take on Japanese hitters, he changed his mind in the search for a new challenge.
“I want to be the kind of pitcher about whom everyone in the world will say, ‘the number one pitcher is Darvish’,” he said at a press conference at Nippon Ham Fighters’ stadium, his former team.
“I used to feel that Japan provided the best environment for me. But I came to believe that I needed to change that environment and move to the majors,” he said, adding that he wanted to show the quality of Japanese baseball to the American public.
Born from an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, Darvish became the best paid player in Japan. He joined the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2005, after high school, and reportedly grew to earn about $6.4 million per season.