With Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish making the first regular-season start of his career in the majors, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was pulsing with the energy befitting a playoff game on Monday night. Among the 42,003 fans in attendance, there were two in particular who managed to grab the spotlight -- even if only briefly -- from Darvish and the reigning American League champion Texas Rangers.
Despite surrendering four runs in the first inning, Darvish survived through the fifth, which was long enough for the Rangers' bats to get him on the right side of the scoreline. Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton homered as the home team rallied against the visiting Seattle Mariners. After Hamilton's blast sailed over the wall in center in the home fourth, it was snagged by a fan who had run out onto the grassy area above the outfield. The fan, who had brought his glove with him to the park, seized his moment along with his souvenir, breaking out the "sprinkler" dance while all eyes -- and TV cameras -- were focused on him.
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Despite busting a memorable move, that guy was not actually named the "Fan Of The Game." That honor went to a fan who reportedly came all the way from Japan to see Darvish make his debut. What he lacks for in choreography, this young man surely makes up for with enthusiasm. Also, love. He loves Yu. While some may have found Darvish's final line of 5.2 inning, 8 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts to be a disappointment, this guy doesn't seem the least bit discouraged.
Which fan gets your vote for "Fan Of The Game?"