Young fan gets trip to see Yu, courtesy of Yu

September 9th, 2021

San Diego right-hander pitched 5 2/3 solid innings against the Braves on July 20. But his most impressive contribution in Atlanta that week came one day earlier -- amid a Padres-Braves game that was rained out.

Annie Heilbrunn, a reporter for Bally Sports San Diego and the San Diego Union Tribune, tells the story of a 10-year-old Padres fan named Landon and his dad, who made the 3 1/2-hour drive from Tennessee to see Darvish pitch that Monday, only to have it postponed due to rain.

According to Heilbrunn's Twitter thread, Darvish waded out into the rain to sign autographs for fans, which made Landon's day. Landon's mom later sent Darvish a direct message on Instagram, thanking him for his kindness. Darvish then responded to her message in a big way.

Darvish gifted Landon and his father an all-expenses-paid trip to see the Padres face the Astros this past weekend. According to Heilbrunn, the two met in the dugout, and Darvish gave Landon signed cleats, a glove and an autographed Fernando Tatis Jr. jersey.

“You just feel for the kid,” Darvish said. “I’m sure it was a sad moment for him, just because the game that he was looking forward to coming to got rained out. At first, I thought he was a Braves fan, but later on I learned that he was a Padres fan. So I just thought it was a good opportunity to invite him to the game.”

Darvish, an All-Star on the field and an All-Star off of it, pitched six innings of one-run ball to earn the win in the Padres’ 8-5 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night.