Yu Darvish Debut: Is This the Most Hyped Pitching Debut in Franchise History?
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Absolutely. There really is nothing even close and that includes legendary Texan and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member—as well as current team president—Nolan Ryan’s debut way back in 1989.
Sure, to call Nolan Ryan merely a "legend" somehow seems to short-change his overall greatness, I get that. Still, when it comes to Darvish, it’s different. He's a global phenomenon.
And Darvish happens to be on the precipice of his debut at a time when the Texas Rangers have never been more relevant. Plus, the general public—thanks to social media—have never been more dialed-in to the sports world thanks to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
You combine that with the fact that Yu Darvish is, well, Yu Darvish, and unprecedented hype and hoopla are the obvious conclusion.
The best analogy I can think of is when David Beckham came over to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Yeah, I know, I didn’t care either, but that’s just because, for the most part, no one in the US cares much about soccer.
Baseball is undeniably American, and whether or not it is still the "National pastime" is arguable, its popularity is not.
The very relevance of the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers is enough in and of itself to pump enough fuel into the hype-machine fire. Add to that the intrinsic accessibility of social media and the fact that Darvish is a worldwide phenomenon—one that I don’t think any of us Americans truly grasp just yet—and it equals hype that is not just localized to the DFW area.
Yes, even larger than Stephen Strasburg’s from 2010. I know, that seems unbelievable, but how many members of the Japanese media were in attendance for his debut? Chances are there were hundreds more for Darvish’s debut, in spring training.
Yep, it’s like that. So overwhelmingly enchanting is Darvish—on a worldwide level—that it is easily the most hyped pitching debut in Rangers history—perhaps Major League Baseball history—and it hasn't even happened yet.
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