December 4, 2020

Gerardo Parra leaves Nationals, MLB to play in Japan for Yomiuri Giants (ESPN)


TOKYO — The “Baby Shark” is moving to Japan.

Outfielder Gerardo Parra has agreed to a contract with the Central League champion Yomiuri Giants, the team said Tuesday.

A two-time Gold Glove winner and a backup for this year’s World Series champion Washington Nationals, the 32-year-old outfielder has a .276 batting average with 88 home runs and 522 RBIs over 11 major league seasons.

After arriving in Washington and wanting to break out of a slump, Parra changed his walk-up song to “Baby Shark,” after seeing his 2-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, dancing to it. The children’s song became an anthem for the Nationals as they rallied from a 19-31 start to make the playoffs and eventually win their first World Series title.

Fans and teammates made shark-inspired hand gestures after each hit, including pinching together an index finger and thumb after singles. Some players worked out while wearing headbands with the image of a cartoon shark, and some fans attended games in shark costumes.

Earlier this month, during an appearance on “CBS This Morning,” Parra said the “Baby Shark” song “is inside my heart” because it gave him the chance to win a championship and made kids at the ballpark…

Read “Gerardo Parra leaves Nationals, MLB to play in Japan for Yomiuri Giants” at ESPN