San Diego Padres and Team Japan pitcher Yu Darvish has won more World Baseball Classics by himself than any other country other than his own.
Yes: he has now won the tournament two times: in 2009 and in 2023, thanks to Tuesday’s 3-2 victory against the United States in the final game.
'09 WBC champ ⏩ '23 WBC champ 💪
Yu Darvish cements his Team Japan legacy 🇯🇵 #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/DhN2iJaLdJ
— ESPN (@espn) March 22, 2023
Darvish’s 2023 WBC ERA may not be all that impressive (6.00), but it really doesn’t matter: the sample size is tiny, and the collective success overshadows just about everything else.
Japan now has three WBC trophies.
Darvish actually pitched in the final game against the Americans, completing an inning with a run conceded, thanks to a Kyle Schwarber home run that gave the game its final score.
But he fought through it to complete his frame of work and hand the ball to Los Angeles Angels hurler Shohei Ohtani, who induced a double play and struck out Mike Trout to end the exciting tournament.
In 2009, it was Darvish as the one who got the last out for Japan against a tough South Korean team.
Back then, he wasn’t even in the Major Leagues yet: he was pitching in the NPB, making a name for himself.
That 2009 showing helped him get a major league contract from the Texas Rangers in 2012.
He has had a thoroughly impressive career as a professional baseball player, with a 3.50 ERA in MLB and two World Baseball Classic championships with Japan.
What else can a player ask for?
It has been a sweet ride for Darvish, who extended his deal to stay in San Diego for the next six years.NEXT: Manny Machado Had A Hilarious Reaction To WBC Home Run