ARLINGTON — How big a deal is Yu Darvish?
The Texas Rangers' Japanese pitching sensation now has his hometown and the city he plays in building a bond.
The mayor of Habikino, Japan sent Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck a special package this week.
Inside was a photo of the Japanese symbol for friendship; a photo of Mayor Tsuguo Kitagawa; and a kimono with both cities' names on the front.
"I wrote him a letter and sent him gifts — mainly Rangers gear — and said I want to be friends," Cluck said.
The Arlington mayor reached out to Darvish's hometown after the pitcher was signed by the Rangers earlier this year. He is looking to create a sister-city relationship with the Japanese town near Osaka that has about one-third the population of Arlington.
Cluck has invited Mayor Kitagawa to join him for a game at the Ballpark in Arlington. It's an offer Kitagawa said he looks forward to.