After conquering the Japanese leagues, ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka came to the New York Yankees with a hefty contract and a metric ton of fanfare in 2014. Since then, he’s endeared himself to fans, making the All-Star team in his first season and rebounding from surgery to reclaim his place at the head of the team’s rotation.
Tanaka, having the unique perspective that comes from traveling halfway around the world to get to New York City, was kind enough to share a few thoughts on the five boroughs.
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New Yorkers like to think they have the best of everything, but you come from Japan—so we have to ask, how do you feel about our sushi?
Masahiro Tanaka: The quality is very close to the sushi from Japan—sometimes even better.
Have you noticed a lot of support from Japanese people in the stands?
MT: There are many Japanese fans in the stands at Yankee Stadium, and I am really thankful for their support. Yankees fans as a whole have been great, and their passion toward the team inspires me to do well on the mound.
Where would you recommend a visitor go in NYC?
MT: I enjoy walking around Central Park. It’s especially beautiful in the fall.
What is the biggest difference for you between NYC and Japan?
MT: The people in New York are so much more diverse. There are people from all over the world, which is one of the reasons New York City is so interesting.